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The University of Virginia can seem like all work and no play when it comes to academics, but that’s far from reality. In fact, Mr. Jefferson’s university offers classes as quirky and unique as the students who attend it. No matter what major you’ve chosen, or which school of the university you’re in, here are 9 of the coolest classes at UVA.

1. RELJ 3490 — Jewish Weddings

Ever imagined yourself attending a picturesque wedding on UVA’s lawn? Take Jewish Weddings and you’ll get to do just that—in fact, you may even get to be the bride or the groom. This class will not only teach you the ins and outs of the wedding planning business, but it will give you a taste of the innovative new traditions of Jewish martial ceremonies. Plus, I hear there’s cake.

2. DRAM 2020 – Acting 1

Yes, you read that right. The entire basis of this class is ACTING. No tests or quizzes—just you, a tightknit cast (the rest of your 14 person class), and a spotlight. Not only is the class a creative outlet and stress reliever, but you also make 14 really close friends. One student gushed, “You really get to know and trust everyone in the class.” Best part about Acting 1? You don’t need any acting experience to enroll!

3. SLAV 2360 – Dracula

Twilight fans, this one is for you. Dracula investigates Slavic folklore, mainly focusing on vampirism. The reviews for this class are off the charts; every semester it has an endless waitlist of vampire enthusiasts just hoping to make the cut. Those lucky enough to snag a spot get an entire semester of Dracula pop culture, movies, and history. Grab your fake fangs and get in line, this is a class you won’t want to miss.

4. PHYS 1050 — How Things Work

Any of you non-science people still struggling to complete a science requirement? Well look no further—How Things Work is here to teach physics to those whose of us who cringe at the word alone. Not only will this class leave you cringe-less, but the lecture is actually fun! Professor Bloomfield is known to do cool experiments and demonstrations during class that will wake up even the sleepiest of students. In addition to being an interesting lecturer, but he’s an all around great professor too. Students love him so much that he’s become fondly referred to as “Grandpa Lou.”

5. ASTR 1270 — Unsolved Mysteries in the Universe

Students have affectionately compared this course to “reading a science magazine.” Professor Johnson genuinely wants students to think—literally—out of this world, and makes her class relatable and engaging in order to do so. Lectures are filled with YouTube videos, Comedy Central clips, and fun news reports in order to help students grasp how these mysteries of the universe are relevant in their lives. Discussing everything from the origin of life, to what lies beyond outer space, this class is sure to expand your view of the universe.

6. KINE 1320 — Scuba Diving

Yup—you can get college credit for learning how to scuba dive. Sure class is held in a pool not in an ocean, but hey it’s still the coolest credit you’ll ever earn. Offering sections for both beginners and for experienced divers, all levels of scuba skills are welcome in this course. This should be considered one of the most exciting classes at UVA.

7. COMM 4680 — Entrepreneurship

Ever wondered if you have what it takes to set up your own start-up company? Take Entrepreneurship and find out! The class is divided into small teams who work together throughout the semester to develop every aspect of their very own start up. Professor Touve is essentially the Shark Tank judge to the teams’ business ventures, and by the end of the semester each has developed a successful business plan—and that plan may just become reality. Rumor has it that the popular UVA restaurant, Roots, was founded in this class by a UVA alum. 

8. MUSI 2340 — Learn to Groove

Stressed out about all those tests, papers, and group projects? Why not bang out your stress in this super chill drum circle. Yeah—that’s seriously all this class is. Just a group of students hanging out and drumming together. With absolutely zero musical or drum experience required, there’s no wonder Learn to Groove is one of the hardest classes to get into at UVA. Just remember to BYOHD (bring your own hand drum). This is truly a fun class at University of Virginia.

9. GETR 3563—Spiritual Journeys in Young Adult Fiction

Don’t let its listing under the German department scare you off—this could be one of the most worthwhile classes at UVA. With a reading list jam-packed with some YA favorites (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Life of Pi, The House on Mango Street), this course delves deeper into classic texts that you probably already know and love. Rather than analyzing the transformations of the characters in these texts like in a typical literature course, this class focuses on your own personal journey while reading them. This probably won’t be the first time you’ve read these novels, but it will be the first time you’re aware of the journey they take you on.

 


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