If you’re getting ready to start college after being homeschooled for your whole life, you may be wondering what the classes will be like. To ease your way into the college experience, you may want to take some easy courses to begin with. Not all college classes involve copious note taking, multi-page papers, and tough exams. For some, as long as you show up and complete the assignments, you can get a good grade. Even honors students enjoy taking an easy class once in a while just for fun. In a semester when you have to take a particularly tough course, you can raise your GPA (and maintain your sanity) by taking one or more easy college classes at the same time.
A certain number of easy college classes cannot be guaranteed – it all depends on the school, the instructor, and the student. A class that is simple for one person may be difficult for another, so look for those that pique your interests and capitalize on your talents (e.g. art, music, or writing). Some professors can make it a whole lot more time-consuming when it comes to homework than it needs to be. The same with the way they grade, including tests; it all depends on how strict they are.
In general, science labs are more demanding because there’s extra work involved. Humanities classes require a lot of reading, writing, and research. A foreign language course may be easy or hard depending on your familiarity with the language. Math classes are of a higher difficulty level if you’re not good at math. English classes can be challenging if you’re not good at writing. (But remedial versions of Math and English are commonly available.)
Easy college classes can often be recognized by these signs:
- Low course number (100-level or below).
- Fewer credit hours (3 or less).
- No prerequisites or consent of instructor required.
- “Beginning,” “Intro to,” “Survey of,” or “Concepts of” classes.
- Courses intended for students not majoring in the subject. Note that in many departments there will be two introductory courses: one for majors and one for non-majors. The one for non-majors will usually be lower-numbered. Typical course titles might be Intro to Chemistry or Basic Chemistry for non-majors and Chemistry I or General Chemistry for majors.
- No lab requirement. Some science lectures must be taken with the accompanying lab, but non-majors can sometimes just take the lecture portion of the class. (Do keep in mind that most colleges require a certain number of lab science credits.)
- “Whatever and Society” are easy courses at many schools; i.e. Plants and Society, Chemistry and Society, etc.
- Depending on the school, there might be some other phrase found in certain course titles that designates them as really easy.
The following courses are also likely suspects:
- Art of Storytelling
- Basic Math
- Career Exploration
- Ceramics I
- Children’s Literature
- College Success
- Computers & Applications
- Conversational Spanish
- Cooking/Culinary Arts
- Drawing I
- Fitness for Life
- Foods of the U.S.
- Fundamentals of Digital Photography
- Healthful Living
- History of Motion Pictures
- Introduction to Astronomy
- Introduction to Computers for Non-Majors
- Introduction to Human Geography
- Introduction to World Religions
- Introduction to the Theatre
- Jazz: Its Origins, Styles, and Influence
- Marriage & Family Life
- Media, Culture, and Society
- Music Appreciation
- Physical Education
- Poetry Study
- Pop Culture
- Social Media
- Survey of Art
- Women’s Studies
Of course, there’s always the old standby of Underwater Basket Weaving! The phrase seems to have started in the 1950s in the context of easy college classes taken by student athletes, but the class has actually been taught at various colleges over the years. While it may bring to mind images of students weaving reeds on the bottom of the campus pool, underwater basket weaving actually involves making baskets by dipping reeds into water and letting them soak.
And finally, don’t be afraid to check with an academic advisor who can help you select the right classes for your first semester based on your placement test results, desired major, and personal situation. Usually you will be enrolled in beginning classes that establish a foundation for advanced courses needed to graduate. Some colleges even have a “First Year Experience” track designed to help students transition from high school to college including built-in support services such as mentoring and tutoring.
What easy college classes have you taken? Let us know – leave a comment below!