Hofstra University Campus

Just because college is school doesn’t mean that all of your courses are going to be uninteresting and dry. Some of the coolest classes at Hofstra University will be those you least expect, yet the ones that will give you the most experience. Where some may push you outside of your comfort zone, others may inspire you and ignite a passion within you. Regardless, you will never know which classes are going to suit your interests and spark your mind until you try it – though here are a few that could do the trick.

1. BIO 14s: Parasites and People with Jason Williams

While this course may sound unappealing, it is very interesting in terms of content. Not only do you learn a lot about biology (and no real background is required!), students also learn about something very real that most people are not aware of – even the ones that occur in the United States. As well as this, you travel to the United Nations to learn about sustainability and clean water initiatives, and do your own project to work on eliminating the disease. It’s not just about learning more about parasites and disease; you’re actually making a difference and contributing to a cure.

2. RELI 010: What is Religion? with Ann Burlein

This course fills the History, Philosophy and Religion distribution requirement at Hofstra. This course is not easy, but it is a pretty coprehensive and interesting overview of most common religions in the world as we all what they believe in. It is a very eye-opening course, especially since many people face stigma against their religions when really, similarities can be found in each one. It really enhances your philosophy, and gives you a deeper understanding and enhanced tolerance of other religions.

3. CMPH 100: Introduction to Human Services with Nancy Cohen

Cohen is a very interesting person herself, and is passionate and dedicated to the course, which already makes it more engaging. This course gives students an overview on social work, which is especially interesting since most people do not really understand the profession fully and what it entails. She sparks a great deal of passion in students and motivates them to further their degree, in a field that may not be the road most frequently traveled. Cohen really gives a comprehensive look on how much people really do need help and how little they are getting, and it really motivates students to better themselves and treat others with more respect and decency as well.

4. PSC 001: American Politics with Richard Himelfarb

Aside from the fact that Himelfarb is an engaging, humorous and vivid teacher that connects well with his students, the course is beneficial for politically-invested students as well as those with very little knowledge of the course. He not only goes into the history of politics in an exciting manner, but connects everything to modern times and the present political climate. He is a conservative, but gives, listens to and supports all sides, created a very unbiased environment open for debate. Students are always engaged, and Himelfarb makes an effort to keep everyone involved and invested in the conversation.

5. PHI 121: Crime and Punishment with Amy Baehr

Baehr is a very inspiring teacher, and regardless of the subject matter. Legal philosophy may sound uninteresting, but Baehr’s teaching style brings a whole new meaning to the subject. Students with interests in philosophy, political science, psychology or pre-law will find it particularly difficult. Even if students are outside these subjects, learning the ins-and-outs of crime and the policies behind punishment is interesting, and good knowledge to keep in your back pocket regardless of your career path.

6. JRNL 001: Media Ethics with Kelly Fincham

The workload is not bad, but students still come out of the course with knowledge that can be immediately applied to journalism. There is a great deal of insight that one gets in the course as to the dilemmas that journalists and reporters face on a day to day basis. Even if you aren’t going into reporting, it still gives you an insight and newfound respect for the passion. Being ethical is not as easy as it looks sometimes, and especially with the current news climate, it is important to be well versed on every side. You cana also easily apply ethics to pieces you read, which can help determine the bias, motive and trustworthy in terms of the information given.

7. PHI 014F: Law, Politics and Society with Amy Baehr

There are a few readings in this course that are mandatory, but they are actually helpful and relevant towards the course. There is a great deal of connection to the modern world and society in this course, which makes it quite relatable to everyday life and real-world issues. Baehr incorporates different perspectives including feminism, climate change and more to help students see things from a broader point of view. It helps in understanding the complexities of laws, as well as why they are put into legislation and the impacts they will have on different groups.

8. PSY 070: Evolutionary Psychology with William Sanderson

Sanderson does not teach the course in a way that is expected, but is instead presents an oddly pessimistic view. He takes the emotion out of the “what” and “why” people do things and focuses on actions from an evolutionary standpoint.  about like everything, takes emotion out of what people do and says how it is. It sparks meaningful debates and is interesting to consider why we do things at the evolutionary level. He takes things from a very basic standpoint, focusing solely on eating, survival and continuing the population, which is very different from how most people teach, but is a fresh perspective.

9. MASS 001: Mass Media, History and Development with Richard Bambrick

Most people tend to not take into consideration the inventions that sparked the technology that we use today. A kind, grandfatherly figure, Professor Bambrick shows his passion for the history of media and connects it coherently to the modern inventions of today. It is interesting to trace this evolution from the very beginning, considering some aspects of history that we would never expect to be “media” today. The course is very enjoyable, and any student with interest in history, war, communications or journalism is sure to find it very appealing.

10. RHET 001: Oral Communication with Trevor Fraser

Aside from the basic tests and speeches that you give later in the semester, Fraser has a colorful resume and a great deal of life experience. He is a very inspiring professor, and provides wisdom and insight to all of the topics he goes over. He allows students to choose their own topics for presentations, and wants students to do well. He appreciates a positive classroom climate and even throws a party at the end of the semester for its completion, which is rare for a college class.

At any university, there are classes that stand out as ones that are exciting to attend each day. Whether it be the teaching style or or the knowledgeable content itself, these courses at Hofstra are among the best to take. Whether it be a required course for your major or a class you need to fill a distribution, they will certainly spark your curiousity. Sometimes, it is the courses that you least expect that end up being those that you enjoy the most.

More Hofstra University Articles:

10 Easiest Classes at Hofstra University

10 Hardest Classes at Hofstra University

5 Great Campus Dining Options at Hofstra University


Melanie Haid


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