Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Students at UNH will soon be picking their classes for the fall 2009 semester and I have decided to  give some advice on some general education classes.  These are some of the gen ed's I have taken and basically what they were like and how I felt about them.

Mirc 407 (Germs 101)- Germs is a highly requested class here at UNH because it fills up one of the three lab sciences that are required. It is a very easy class, but it can also be very boring. A lot of it is busy work, especially the group projects, which feel like a huge waste of time. Germs requires you to buy a clicker and access code which are about $18-20 each, but you probably only use them about 7 times the entire semester. I would recommend this class, even though it is very pointless,  because it definitely helps out the ole GPA. 

Polt 401 (Politics and Society aka Hell)- This is by far the worse class I have ever taken in my entire life. The class revolves around reading political philosophy including Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and many others including the novels "Lord of the Flies" and "Walden Two." This class is very hard because it is solely based on the quizzes and three exams. One bad grade and it can be hard to get even a B. I would not recommend this class to anyone. Polt 401 in a nutshell:
  1. read assignments
  2. listen to professor lecture about the readings in a manner equally confusing as the readings (I have paid attention for entire lectures without writing one note.)
  3. take a once a week quiz that is really easy
  4. repeat steps 1-3 for a couple weeks
  5. take an exam
  6. realize that quizzes are so easy because the exams are the hardest test you have ever taken in your life
  7. listen to the professor explain that he was surprised the test scores were low because he felt he made them easy... (Class average on the 1st exam was a  55%) 
  8. repeat steps 1-7 three times
Hist 406 (Modern US History)- I actually really enjoyed this class. It started out really slow but once we got to the 1920's and on it became really interesting. My class had three 2 page papers worth 10%, one essay worth 25% and midterm and a final (15 and 20% each) with a 10% attendance grade. So if you're one to skip classes I wouldn't recommend this class. Depending on the professor it should be an easy B as long as you put in a decent effort.

Hist 421 (Ancient Civ.'s Pre 16th Century) This class is boring, but should be a very easy C/B. I got a B+ in this class during the fall semester. In my section we didn't take one test or quiz and it was completely based on a few essays and participation in Friday discussions. Even the midterm and final were take home essays. I don't understand how it wasn't considered "writing intensive." If your good at writing solid analysis papers in 3-5 pages this class will be very easy. 

Psych 401 (Intro to Psych)- There are many different sections to this class and the professors teach them all differently. I had about a 200 person lecture that was based on four exams (20% each) attendance (15%, in 10 random classes we filled out a notecard worth 1.5 points) and 5% was for participation in a out of class study by a psych major. (Usually just filling out a survey). 

ESci 501 (Intro to Oceanography)- This class revolves around 4 exams worth 20% each and a lab grade worth 20%. Two of the exams are easy (In my class they were the 1st and 4th), one exam is very hard (3rd) and the second exam was sorta hard. The labs are pretty easy, but compared to other science gen-ed's this class more challenging. I found oceanography to be the most interesting science I have taken, but it was also on of the harder ones because it does have actual labs and not just "hand washing labs" like in Germs. The book cost $80 and I didn't use it once. 

Math 420 (Finite Math)- If you took discrete math in high school this class will be very easy. If you didn't it should still be pretty easy. It's graded on 3 exams, once a week quizzes and homework due twice a week when you meet with TA's. The HW usually doesn't take more than 15-25 minutes and the quizzes are easy if you attend the lectures. The exams can be hard because they cover a lot, but attending lectures and doing the homework will keep you from having to pull all nighters studying. 

I would highly recommend using ratemyprofessors.com to learn about the different professors here at campus. I used it for the spring semester and it was surprisingly very helpful. I hope you found this review to be helpful and good luck with picking your classes. Also, talk to your advisors. I hear they can be helpful, although I wouldn't know. I actually heard mine say to another professor  "I don't know why they assume that just because I am a professor I can help advise students. I have my own things to worry about." She then proceeded to talk down at me a during our meeting, if you can call it that. I really just followed her around the building while she did her own "things" without actually sitting down. Did I mention she was 10 minutes late? Total bitch. 

Stay classy, not UMassy.

1 comment:

  1. Feel ya on the advisor bullcrap, I tried to meet my advisor two times (both times he stood me up) and then emailed him 3 times, before he said it was too late and he couldn't help me... wtf?? So i signed up for classes on my own, worked out okay!