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Here's a list of some of the best and worst classes offered at Umass Amherst.
Take these classes:
-Food Science 102 "World Food Habits" with Professor Kalidas Shetty.
This class is an easy A. Professor Shetty is super nice and knows everything there is to know about food from all over the world. No book, and you can buy the notes for $15 so you don't need to go to class. If you do go to class, he offers an insane amount of extra credit. Four multiple choice exams and he splits the royalties ($$$) from the notes between the top 3 students with the highest averages in the class. If you're in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, this classes also counts toward the global education requirement.
-Philosophy 164 "Medical Ethics"
This is another easy class that can count as a gen. ed. It focuses around ethical issues in the medical field such as abortion, truth-telling, and physician assisted suicide. Try to take it with Josh, he was cool and very laid back. I never went to class since he posts all the slides online and most of it boils down to pure memorization.
-Biology 106 "Human Biology" with Professor Judy Goodenough
This was my all-time favorite class at Umass. If you think that human bio is interesting, you'll love this class. Although it's not super easy, Judy is an amazing teacher and the material will keep you interested. She posts all her slides online, exams are multiple choice, and you'll actually learn something useful! #BestProfessorAtUmass
-Communication 318 "Comparative Communication Theory" with Briankle Chang
Whether you're a Comm major or not, this class is a joke. Chang is a cool guy, but you won't learn a thing in his class. He just rambles on and you usually have no idea what he's talking about. Class is painful to sit through, but the good thing is you only have to go less than half of them. I think I went to about five classes the whole semester and got an A-. You don't need to buy the book or do the readings. The one and only assignment is a 12-page research paper about any communication theory of your choosing (he bumped it down to 8 pages by the end of the semester). So if you're looking for the easiest class at Umass that requires almost no work, this is it. I would recommend asking him a question after class or emailing him once so that he'll remember your name.
Avoid these classes:
-Psychology 305 "Educational Psychology" with Professor Catherine Dimmit
Seriously, Carey is the absolute worst. The material for this class is dry, but it's the professor that makes it unbearable. She gave us assigned seating in a 300 person lecture hall.....unbelievable. The work load for this course is ridiculous. There is 1-2 chapter tests a week which consists of 25-75 multiple choice questions. For each chapter test there is also another required section called "topics" and it's the worst. It's around 20 short answer questions that are beyond frustrating. Apart from the weekly homework, there are four required papers. You have to go to class because she makes writing in your notebook worth 20% of your grade. She refers to students as "kids" all the time and treats us like we're 12. She is so absurd that a lot of students have resorted to smoking before class just to make it through the lecture.
-History 121 "Latin American History" with Professor Joel Wolfe.
This is another terrible class that should be avoided at all costs. First of all, Joel Wolfe is a complete creep so if you're female definitely avoid this one. His lectures are incredibly boring and it's very hard to take notes since he talks a mile a minute. Apart from the two essay exams that require an insane amount of cramming, you will be required to read seven books and write three, seven-page papers, plus weekly homework. Definitely find another history class if you're looking for a HS gen. ed.
-Public Health 213 "Peer Health Education I"
This class required a lot of effort and participation. It's one of those classes where everyone sits in a circle and is expected to share experience and opinions...YUCK. You study things like STDs and GLBT movements so it can get awkward sometimes. There is a lot of group work and if you miss more than two classes your final grade will be dropped by one letter grade. Also, you will be required to set up a table in one of the dining halls and hand out free condoms and other public health things, at least twice through out the semester.
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