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Seeking to spice up your schedule next semester? You can knock out a few College requirements while learning from highly rated professors and tackling unconventional topics. This list of courses features Penn Course Review’s favorite professors teaching classes that sound intriguing.

Coolest Class Names

“Where My Girls At?”: African American Women Performers in The 20th Century (AFRC 335-401)

Examine the impact of legends from Tina Turner to Beyonce, and how they shook up American pop culture to express their powerful and personal narratives. This class also fulfills the Cultural Diversity in the U.S. requirement.

Blood, Sweat, and Pasta (CIMS 015-401)

This class is a freshman seminar taught by Frank Pellicone, the house dean of Harrison College House. The seminar examines the Italian-American experience and fulfills the Arts & Letters sector.

Yoga and Philosophy (PHIL 051-301)

Stretch and write a reflective journal while contemplating the philosophical worldview that yoga has to offer. This freshman seminar fulfills the Cross-Cultural Analysis Foundational Approach.

Highly rated professors (based on Penn Course Review) and their classes (by College requirement sector)


Sarah L. Gibbons (3.7 average quality, 2.4 difficulty)

Explore moral problems in medicine and biomedical research, like genetic engineering, abortion and euthanasia with Gibbons’ lecture Biomedical Ethics (HSOC 101-401), also cross-listed under PHIL and PPE.

History and Tradition

Jeffrey E. Green (3.7 average quality, 2.9 difficulty)

How does classical and medieval thinking contribute to modern-day political morality? Green takes students through these questions and more through Ancient Political Thought (PSCI 180-001).

Paul Michael Cobb (3.7 average quality, 2.4 difficulty)

Cobb leads an object-based learning course called Introduction to the Middle East (HIST 023-401) that also happens to fulfill the Cross-Cultural Analysis requirement.

Arts and Letters

Eva del Soldato (3.8 average quality, 2.4 difficulty)

This professor teaches Masterpieces of Italian Literature, which fulfills Arts and Letters. Also check out her highly-reviewed class A Black Seed Sowed: An Introduction to Paleography and History of Books, though it doesn’t fulfill a requirement.

Alessandra Mirra (3.7 average quality, 1.3 difficulty)

Another Italy-focused professor, Mirra teaches several Italian-based seminars, including a freshman seminar about food culture (CIMS 014-401) and Italian History on Screen (CIMS 206-401), which also counts for Cross-Cultural Analysis.

Humanities and Social Sciences

Katherine Mattison Moore (3.6 quality, 2.4 difficulty)

Moore teaches a class called Food and Fire (ANTH 148 401), open to freshmen and sophomores, that explores the intersection between human technology and archaeology. The class includes guest presentations, museum field trips, and lab experience.

Outside the Classroom

If you’re tired of sitting in a lecture hall, seek more hands-on experiences. This semester, Biology of Food (BIOL 017), Urban Education (EDUC 202-401) and Asian American Communities (ASAM 205-401) are offered as Academically-Based Community Service (ABCS) courses.