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Ten Best College Elective Classes

Oct 20, 2021

What Are Electives?

Elective classes in college are courses that count towards your total credits, but are not required by your degree. Electives in college are a great way to learn about topics you are interested in outside your major, get experience in different areas that might be related to your career path, meet new people and generally expand your thinking. College electives include not just interesting courses to take, but also courses that can improve your GPA score and success in the job market. Here, we'll be looking at some of the best electives to take in college.

College Electives

Best Classes to Take in College

1. Personal Finance

One of the best electives to take in college is a course on personal finance. Although there is a growing push to integrate financial education into the K-12 classroom, most students don't get a lot of money management experience before they're sent off into the world to sink or swim. Even if you're not a business or accounting major, a personal, business or general finance course can teach you essential financial management skills that will serve you long after college. Financial literacy has become increasingly more a requirement at forward thinking institutions across the country.

2. Public Speaking

Does the thought of standing up in front of 100 people - or even 20 - terrify you? Another one of the best classes to take in college is one on public speaking! Most people have a fear of public speaking, but this is a common requirement for many professions and even some academic programs. Taking a public speaking elective can help you become more confident in front of a crowd and more articulate throughout your life. Check out Communications 101: Public Speaking and get ready to become a great public speaker!

3. Business Writing

Even research scientists need strong written communication skills to succeed in their careers. Taking a business writing course can help you learn to write effective resumes, cover letters, memos and many other types of professional documents. Try out a workplace communications course and start improving your business writing skills!

4. English Composition or Creative Writing

Although many may shy away from extra English classes, a writing course is one of the most interesting classes to take in college. Students who are seeking more general writing skills or looking to improve their creativity may benefit from a basic composition or creative writing course. Both can help you improve your grammar, spelling and vocabulary, as well as guide you in developing a clear writing style and voice. Creative writing courses can also give you the tools you need to overcome academic writer's block in your other courses. Check out English 104: College Composition to start boosting your writing skills.

5. Physical Education

One of the most fun classes to take in college can be a physical education class. Many students neglect their physical health when in college. In fact, regular physical exercise can not only keep you healthy and strong, it can also reduce stress and improve your ability to focus.

You can benefit from physical education electives even if you dreaded every day of P.E. in high school. Most colleges offer lots of alternative P.E. courses, such as swimming, martial arts and dance, even Yoga and horseback riding, in addition to traditional individual and team sports activities.

If you're interested in physical health, you may also want to check out Health 101: Principles of Health.

6. Art or Art History

Elective classes in college don't have to be all academics. Art can be a fun, creative outlet for any college student. Even if you're not pursuing an art history degree, studying the arts can be both personally and academically fulfilling. Many studio art courses teach practical skills such as welding, building objects or drawing from sight in addition to helping students develop their creative sides. And art history courses can not only teach students about their cultural history, they can also help students develop the essential analytical and critical thinking skills that come from a liberal arts education. Check out Art 101: Art of the Western World to learn art from ancient Egypt to today!

7. Marketing

Another one of the best general electives is a marketing class. Marketing skills look great on any resume, and they can also help students promote themselves and their talents in just about any field - even artists can be more successful if they learn to effectively market themselves. Furthermore, marketing courses can offer an opportunity to learn more about how to apply new technologies and ideas, such as social media, to your professional life. Start Business 102: Principles of Marketing. You'll learn the basics of marketing and earn college credit that you can transfer to your school.

8. Foreign Language

Most humanities subjects, such as English or history, require students to take at least one foreign language, but even science majors can benefit from this college elective. There are many more professional opportunities available to individuals who can speak more than one language, both abroad and in the U.S. Furthermore, studying a foreign language can improve your critical thinking and communication skills in your native language. Start learning Spanish today with Spanish 101: Beginning Spanish

9. Nutrition

Nutrition is a topic that is both interesting and good for your health. You can learn more about biology and food science while exploring how the foods you eat affect your body. You may even find you enjoy it so much that you sign up for a cooking class next! Take Nutrition 101: Science of Nutrition and earn elective credit that you can transfer to your school.

10. Psychology

Introductory psychology courses can teach you more about everything from interacting with classmates to managing future employees to raising children. Many intro to psych courses cover such topics as human behavior, social awareness, memory, language development, personality traits and psychological disorders. Child Development provides parents great insight into the behavior and learning abilities of their children. A psychology courses that emphasizes behavioral psych can even help you develop better study skills. Earn elective credit for Psychology 101: Intro to Psychology, Psychology 102: Educational Psychology, Psychology 103: Human Growth and Development, and more! See all psychology courses for credit here.

Still not sure what you should be studying? Study.com offers lessons across all subjects that you can check out to help you find the subjects that interest you most. Start browsing courses and lessons.

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