“...Take everything you thought you knew about the American West and throw it out the window..." Taylor '15

Check out this sampling of courses Wellesley students (and actually some alumnae) chose and why

Students' favorite courses

History of the American West: Manifest Destiny to Pacific Imperialism (HIST 244)
This was a history class I took my sophomore year, and it was incredible. Take everything you thought you knew about the West and throw it out the window. The discussions were incredible and my understanding of American history changed completely. The same professor taught a class on the American South, and it was the same situation. As a history major, I'd never focused on American history, so these two courses were the most incredible reintroductions I could have asked for. Other courses I have loved are American Conservatism, Francophone Africa, Gender and Sexuality in 20th Century Europe, Macroeconomics and Historical Commodities and Empires.... But in all honesty, I've never had a bad experience in class or with a professor! —Taylor Rondestvedt '15, history; Minneapolis, Minnesota
Photo: Taylor (left) with friends Marcia Frimpong '15 and Madeleine Paul-Henriot '16, take a walk around Lake Waban

Empathy, Perspective-Taking, and Moral Judgment (Phil 345-1)
One of my absolute favorite classes at Wellesley! We sat around a long oval table, discussed and debated philosophy, and ate food. I was so impressed by the interesting arguments and points that my peers articulated. I definitely came out of the class thinking in a different way—Neha Doshi '15, Economics; Hixson, Tennessee

BOW—The Three-College Collaboration among Babson, Olin, and Wellesley Colleges— and cross-registration opportunities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brandeis University are opportunities that are unique to Wellesley alone.  — Cindy Coffee '16, Architecture; Amityville, NY

See also Sustainability Certificate Program with Wellesley, Olin, and Babson; Engineering OpportunitiesArchitecture 


History of Education (EDUC 212)
Professor Barbara Beatty is a phenomenal professor! Her lectures were always engaging, but it was mainly a seminar class and, as one of two first-years, it was awesome learning from the upperclasswomen and seeing how amazing, articulate, and interested they were in the topic. It made me think that maybe one day I will be as composed and intelligent as they are! It also made me rethink the way my K-12 education affected who I am, what opportunities I received, and how if I had been born just 10 or 20 years before, my outcome could've been much different. —Imara McMillan '17, Undeclared; Chicago, Illinois

Macbeth, Shakespeare's Anatomy of Evil (WRIT 146)
One of my favorite courses was my writing course with Professor Cain. The topic was focused on Macbeth, but in addition to reading the text, we also analyzed various film interpretations. We discussed the effect of lighting and music within the films, and we also acted out parts of the play. The course culminated in a research paper. I thought this course was valuable in that it allowed me to explore my strengths and weaknesses as a writer, and it exposed me to various types of writing styles. Writing Program—Seraphina Oney '16, History; Claremont, CA

First-Year Seminar: Routes of Exile: Jews and Muslims (HIST 115)
I took Routes of Exile: A Story of Muslims and Jews throughout North Africa and Middle East, which is a first-year seminar. I loved this class because we examined history from many perspectives. We looked at film, music, literature, politics, religion, and culture to inform our understanding of these two groups, Muslims and Jews, in a particular moment in time in a particular region. The class was discussion based, so we read a book or watched a film each week and sat in a circle and discussed it. It was a great introduction to discussion-based classes as well as a window into the Middle Eastern Studies Department.—Adele Watkins '17, undeclared, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Political Economy of Development and Underdevelopment (POL2 204)
This course tried to explain the spectrum of development faced by countries around the globe, and the process of reaching this point from the political economy perspective. It was a miracle to find a course at the beginner's level in the Political Science Department that was absolutely specific to what I want to do with the rest of my life. Professor Hajj's approach to the topic was fresh and engaging and her ability to delve into these deep and often unpleasant topics with good humor made the alarm ringing at 7:45 am absolutely worth it. —Lamisa Hossain '17, undeclared; Dhaka, Bangladesh

Fundamentals of Chemistry with Lab (CHEM 105)
This is the class that truly made me understand the difference between a high school and college course. Professor Mala Radhakrishnan encouraged us to go beyond a basic understanding of chemistry, and to really think about why atoms act the way they do—often with the help of Mala's poetry and analogies! —Houda Khaled '16, Biological Chemistry; Philadephia, Pennsylvania

For more on Professor Radhakrishnan; hear her read "The Radioactive Dating Game" at bit.ly/chemistpoet.


See more of students' favorite courses from previous years.

Alumnae/staff's favorite courses

Behind the scenes. When Lauren Dennis, associate director of admission, requested that students' share a brief paragraph about their favorite course at Wellesley. To illustrate, she provided two examples of her favorite courses while she was a Wellesley student. 

Intro to Video Production, ARTS 165
I never thought of myself as "artistic" (hello, science nerd) but I loved this class! It changed the way I view everyday life and taught me that trying new things and taking a few risks can be fun and so beneficial. It was really interactive so getting to see all of the different ways my classmates interpreted an assignment (viewing everyone's videos each week and then critiquing them) definitely broadened my thoughts. Also, now my own travel videos and photos are pretty awesome. Lauren Dennis

Psychology of creativity, PSYCH 334
This was the first time I was expected to formulate and defend my own theories. No textbooks, no right answers, just a group of about 8 people around a big table talking about competing theories. It was kind of scary at first and I was so worried about saying something "wrong" but it taught me a lot about being a critical consumer of information, applying emerging research or knowledge to an existing field, making arguments, being flexible when hearing other evidence, and asking the kinds of questions I needed to make up my mind for myself. (Great skills to bring to lots of different fields, not just psychology!) Surprisingly, this was also the first time I appreciated that studying a topic never truly ends because fields constantly change and evolve - I'm never going to know everything about it and I can never say, "I'm done with this topic now." We're constantly learning, experimenting, revising what we know, which is something that has really helped me in my (non-psychology) career. Lauren Dennis

Acting Shakespeare and Shakespeare Part II: The Jacobean Period, THST & ENG, 315 & 244
For me, these two courses go hand-in-hand. Without the other, I wouldn't have been able to fall in love with the works of Shapekpeare as much as I did. The ability to truly understand the nuances in Shakespeare's text, and then bring it to life on stage were eye-opening. I credit Diego Arciniegas and Yu Jin Ko for giving me the ability to fall in love & understand Shakespeare at the root level.


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