Staff Picks: Classes To Knock Out Over The Summer

With the end of the semester finally here and students looking forward to a break, some also want to get ahead or catch up on classes. If you’re one of them and struggling to decide which classes to take over the summer, look no further.

Our staffers compiled a list of classes they recommend to knock out over the summer from the comfort of your own home.

Ashley Connington: SPAN 1 – Elementary Spanish 1

If you’re someone who didn’t take Spanish in high school, you’ll have to start from Spanish 1 at Penn State. However, Spanish 1 is only offered online and asynchronous. You might as well take it over the summer on your own time to brush up on your Spanish with a bit less stress without a full courseload and return to campus able to jump right into the in-person classes.

Michael Siroty: ENGL 15 – Rhetoric & Composition

English 15 is a course that all Penn State students have to take at some point, and it’s the perfect one to complete over the summer. The class consists only of writing, so the assignments won’t be any more difficult online if that’s the route you take. I took it in the fall, but I know some people who took it over the summer and had no trouble with it. If you want an easy class to get out of the way in the off months, English 15 is a good one to go with.

Noah Flenard: Language Requirements

Taking a language over the summer can be a great way to either start working at completing your language requirement or the perfect way to complete the requirement. Many majors require a language to be taken for three consecutive semesters. Taking a language requires a ton of work and time, so why not do it over the summer? The in-person component of language classes also makes the class more difficult, so taking it online could possibly be a GPA booster. Many students complain about the rigor of the language courses, so taking them online would allow you to complete the requirements at a slower and easier pace.

Samarth Kulkarni: MATSE 81 – Materials In Today’s World, ARCH 100 – Architecture & Ideas, LARCH 60 – Cultural History Of Designed Places, LDT 100 – World Technologies & Learning

My approach to scheduling summer courses is primarily to get done with courses that aren’t explicitly defined by my major requirements, so this involves most general education requirements. The ones I’d recommend are MATSE 81, ARCH 100, LARCH 60, and LDT 100. They’re really easy courses, so you won’t work yourself to death over the summer, but you’ll be able to fulfill a ton of your requirements. You can also get done with “beginner” courses for your major. For example, I finished Math 230 over the summer, which made it possible for me to take more advanced courses in the fall.

Always remember to schedule classes over World Campus if you can since they’re cheaper over the summer.

Sarah Lynn DeCarlo: ENGL 15, CAS 100, ENGL 202

If you are not an English major, and you have to take the basics of English 15, CAS 100, and English 202, TAKE THEM OVER THE SUMMER ONLINE! My public speaking class was all recordings and only half the summer along with the other classes. Don’t waste 16 weeks in those classes if you can get them done over the summer. They can be a lot of work and only worrying about them over the summer was the best decision I️ made. The classes are normally a little easier with more professors to choose from because of branch campuses and shorter terms. I️ never loved English, so getting those out of the way early and quicker was the way to go.

Evan Halfen: MATH 34 – Math Of Money

If you need a relatively easy quantification course, MATH 34 is the class for you. The asynchronous course starts by walking you through the basics of simple interest, simple discount, compound interest, and investments. As the course carries on, you’ll learn about retirement plans, inflation, depreciation, taxes, credit cards, mortgages, and car leasing. Unlike statistics and calculus courses, this course is actually really resourceful for students who aren’t STEM majors. Sure, some lessons can be boring, and the weekly lecture recordings get dull, but you’re getting more bang for your buck (pun intended) with this online class. To me, this class is perfect for the summer as you’ll still be able to enjoy the sun and have a social life.

Joe Lister: CRIM 406 – Sociology Of Deviance

Does this class have anything to do with my major? No. Does it have anything to do with your major? Probably not. Is this likely a very advanced course that will be difficult to complete? Yes. However, look at that name. Hell yeah, man. I’m a deviant sometimes. Why wouldn’t I want to poke around my own brain? This class just sounds sick.

This class is even offered remotely, which means you can be a deviant from the comfort of wherever you want to be while learning about deviance on Zoom. Talk about a two-for-one deal!

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