Whether in the first or last year of your studies, sometimes students just want to take easy and fun electives. If your intentions are to get better grades, to distract you from the harder compulsory courses or to just get the credits to graduate, easy electives are always sought after. when adding courses into schedules, the last thing a student wants to do is spend hours researching different non-prerequisite electives in all departments, looking at course descriptions and all that jazz. That is why I’ve compiled a list of easy and interesting non-prerequisite electives to fill up your class schedules.

BPS 1101 – Drugs 101

“Drug history, discovery and use. Origins of disease, drug function, side effects and safety. Toxicology, pain relief, cold medications, performance-enhancing drugs for sports, antibiotics and cancer chemotherapy.” 

Don’t be fooled! While many students may claim that this class is super easy, if you have little experience in the scientific fields, this class might be challenging. For those students who are genuinely interested in these scientific processes and the different use of drugs and their history, you might really like this course. The course is usually composed of 2 mid-terms (50 multiple choice questions each) and one final exam (100 multiple choice questions). If multiple choice is your forte, then you might also find this class a breeze. In general, this class is very interesting and enlightening to understand the medical field and the everyday usages of drugs. This is definitely a course that can be referred to when dealing with everyday life.

MAT1374 – Probability and games of chance (POKER 101)

“The main themes of this course are: making decisions in situations of uncertainty, strategic thinking, and the applications of these to a wide variety of areas, including games of chance such as poker.”

While this is a math course, and many people aren’t taking math courses as fun electives, this one is truly changing these perceptions. Not only do you get to apply questions about probability, you do it while playing games. While you can use the knowledge taught in this course for your gaming goals, these lessons are also easily transferable in real life situations in all disciplines. You make decisions every day, and by taking this course, you can learn to think in a strategic way for any purpose in your life. Math, you’ve finally done us a favour!

MUS 1302 – Topics in Music Appreciation II (3 units)

“Study of master-works in vocal music with the aim of developing the listener’s understanding and appreciation. Some knowledge of music is desirable but not essential.”

You like to listen to music. Imagine getting to listen and appreciate music for credits. That sounds like the perfect combination to me! Last semester, the course was centred around Hip-hop. You got to learn about hip-hop culture and appreciate the artistry and efforts behind hip hop. This class will make you see hip-hop as a genre in a completely different light and analytical perspective. Whether it be hip-hop or another genre, this music class will also help you view the social contexts in which has shaped and evolved music.

PHY1300 – The Big Bang and Beyond

“Physics is all around us, from what we experience every day, to the technologies that have a major impact on our society. This course introduces non-science students to some of the most important scientific breakthroughs and how they affect our lives, from the big bang to chaos to the quantum world, and beyond. No background in science or mathematics is required.”

What is interesting about this course is that you DO NOT need extensive knowledge of science and mathematics in order to follow course content. Physics is a daunting subject to tackle but is present in our everyday lives. This course lets any student understand how we experience everyday things such as technologies. If you are a curious, observant and sceptical student, this course will feed your need for understanding life.

CMN 2180 – Popular Culture and Communication

“Concepts of popular culture and communication, and analysis of their dynamics. Study of different forms of popular culture and related stereotypes and myths.”

Our generation is filled with popular culture and diverse ways of communicating. If you are the type of student who wants to criticize or understand that specific realm, this course will fit perfectly for you. More often than not, people criticize popular culture and specific types of communications but do it without understanding the ways in which they are built and contextualized. By taking this course students can finally understand why the world of popular culture is the way that it is.

CLA2323 – Greek Mythology

“Introduction to Greek myths in their religious and historical context; their impact on western art and literature. Reading in translation of ancient sources (Homer, Hesiod, the Greek tragedians, etc)”

Greek Mythology is a subject that will take you into a new world. This course will teach you about greek culture and historical contexts of the world of Greek mythology. You really start to feel part of a magical world as you dive into the content of this course. If you are into history and literature, this course is one to check out.

CIN2101 – History of Cinema I: 1895-1960

I'M Hip Robert De Niro GIF

“Study of various international film schools and movements from the inception of cinema to the 1960s: the pre-cinema screen tradition, the invention of cinema and the first years of the latter (1880s-1904), the inception and development of sound cinema (1929-1945), and post-war cinema (1949-1960s).” 

For all of the movie watchers out there, you can now watch movies and study old cinema for grades. While you may watch current movies, getting to know how cinema started and older movies is a great table topic for you to whip out during any conversation. Use your old cinema knowledge to impress a date and give off hipster vibes, you are guaranteed to look 10 times cooler.


University can be very tough and stressful but adding in some of these electives can give you a sense of freedom from your harder compulsory courses and might even bump up your GPA. All of the courses listed above aren’t just fun courses, but they actually end up teaching you more than you thought you had retained from the class lectures. In fact, these electives end up helping you understand everyday life in diverse ways.



I’m a 3rd-year International Development student at the University of Ottawa.

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