Best Classes at Northwestern

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

View of Northwestern campus.

Best Classes at Northwestern

The best classes at Northwestern University are more than just a collection of academic courses—they are a transformative experience that shapes the lives of students and prepares them for success in the real world.

With an unparalleled commitment to academic excellence and a diverse range of programs, Northwestern University’s best classes provide a comprehensive education that inspires and challenges students to reach their full potential.

So, if you’re ready to embark on an educational journey that will change your life, read on to discover Northwestern’s best classes.

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What are the best classes to take at Northwestern?

What are some of the most beneficial courses offered at Northwestern? Northwestern University’s diverse student body is certain to experience personal and intellectual development because of its commitment to providing first-rate instruction, ground-breaking research, and a welcoming atmosphere for its students.

Below are some of the most interesting classes available at this educational institution.

1. DANCE 130-2 – Music Theatre Dance I

The study of jazz, tap, and contemporary repertoire will be covered in this dance class that gives instruction in music theater dance forms. The students are expected to practice and polish the dance steps and skills throughout the term.

This makes the class a highly practical one. Students interested in pursuing a career in dance or the performing arts are strongly encouraged to enroll in this course during their junior year.

2. ENGLISH 202-0 – Introduction to Creative Writing

This is an extremely engaging English class that teaches students the structures and methods of creating poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The course also covers creative nonfiction writing.

Students will acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to generate new material by examining previously published works. Students will also be asked to develop their writing abilities by developing material that will be assessed and examined during the class sessions.

3. JOUR 321-0 – Storytelling: Magazine & Feature Writing

Students will acquire the abilities necessary to write magazine articles and features for a variety of publications through the completion of this course.

Students will become familiar with various writing strategies and procedures by reading previously published magazines and features assigned to them.

As one of the best classes at Northwestern, this course will allow students to provide their own original content. Those who are interested in a career in journalism should take this class.

4. MUSIC 126-1 – Aural Skills I

This music class will teach students to sing by sight and develop their ears to understand music better.

Aural analysis and recognition of melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic patterns will be taught to the students through listening to audio recordings and taking dictation.

The training consists of several practical sessions that are very participatory. Those planning to major in music are encouraged to take this class.

5. HISTORY 203-1 – Jewish History 750-1492

This class will concentrate on Jewish history between the years 750 and 1492. It brings to light some fascinating aspects of the economic, political, cultural, and intellectual lives of Jewish communities living under the rule of medieval Islam and Christianity.

In order for students to get an awareness of the Jewish way of life, the course will consist of analyzing various literature. Those planning to major in History should take this class.

6. PHIL 150-0 – Elementary Logic I

The study of logical thinking is one of the topics covered in this Philosophy class. The students will acquire the information necessary to assess various content to comprehend the logical progression of ideas.

For the duration of the class, students will practice reading and analyzing various works to better comprehend the reasoning presented in the assigned readings. Philosophy majors are strongly encouraged to enroll in this class.

7. RELIGION 171-0 -Varieties of Religious Tradition

This class will examine the beliefs and practices of the world’s main religions. Students will examine the philosophy behind several world religions, looking at topics such as where their beliefs and observances stem from and how they differ from one another.

8. ASTRON 102-0 – Milky Way Galaxy

Students take part in one of the best classes at Northwestern, where they will learn about the structure of galaxies, interstellar clouds and dust, the development of stars, neutron stars, star clusters, and black holes.

Students will have fun while learning by engaging in observation, reading, and theoretical experimentation. Students not majoring in Science but interested in taking a more in-depth astronomy class are strongly encouraged to enroll in this class.

9. ART 220-0 – Introduction to Painting

During the course, students will become familiar with the craft of oil painting and the concept of visual thinking.

During this class, students gain knowledge of several oil painting-related methods, such as surface preparation, color mixing, and composition. The training does not require any previous experience.

10. FRENCH 111-1 – Elementary French

Students will learn fundamental French language skills such as reading, writing, speaking, and grammatical structure in this course. In addition, students will acquire knowledge of the history and culture of France.

Students will have a lot of fun learning French because it will be a new language for them to master. By the class’s conclusion, students can hold simple conversations in French.

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How do Northwestern’s courses prepare students for future careers?

At the heart of Northwestern’s education model lies the marriage of academic vigor with real-world applicability. The university understands that to thrive in the modern world, students must be equipped not only with knowledge but also with the capability to implement this knowledge in practical settings.

Here’s how Northwestern ensures that its courses align with the professional trajectories of its students:

Integrating Real-world Contexts

Northwestern’s curriculum uniquely intertwines academic theories with real-world contexts. This design helps bridge the gap between classroom learning and on-field applications. For example:

  • DANCE 130-2 – Music Theatre Dance I: Beyond just the techniques and history of dance forms, this course provides an immersive environment where students are trained for real-world auditions and stage performances. The curriculum is tailored to mimic the rigors of professional performances, ensuring students are ready to grace the world’s stages.
  • JOUR 321-0 – Storytelling: Magazine & Feature Writing: In an era of digital content overload, compelling storytelling is more crucial than ever. This course not only imparts the art and craft of writing but also emphasizes creating content that stands out. As a result, students find themselves prepared for diverse roles, from print journalism to digital media, and from public relations to advertising campaigns.
  • ASTRON 102-0 – Milky Way Galaxy: While delving deep into the mysteries of our galaxy, this course also introduces students to cutting-edge tools and research methodologies. Such exposure can be invaluable for those aspiring to contribute to astrophysics research or take on roles in renowned space agencies, such as NASA.

Emphasis on Skill Development

Alongside imparting knowledge, Northwestern’s courses are heavily tilted towards skill development, ensuring that students are job-ready. Whether it’s critical analysis in a Literature course or data interpretation in a Science module, the focus is always on developing transferable skills that will be beneficial in various professional settings.

Engagement with Industry Professionals

Northwestern often invites industry professionals for guest lectures, seminars, and workshops. Such interactions allow students to gain insights directly from those who have been there and done that.

These engagements often provide clarity regarding industry expectations and give students a clearer picture of their chosen field.

Capstone Projects and Internships

Many courses at Northwestern have an experiential learning component where students are expected to undertake projects that simulate real-world challenges.

Additionally, internships facilitated by the university allow students to experience the professional world first-hand, even before they graduate.

In essence, Northwestern’s approach ensures that education is not confined to textbooks. Students are groomed to be proactive problem solvers, innovators, and leaders in their respective fields.

By the time they graduate, they possess a comprehensive toolkit of knowledge, skills, and experiences that make them stand out in the competitive job market.

Are classes at Northwestern hard?

Northwestern University, known for its prestigious status and rigorous academic programs, often prompts this question from prospective students: Are its classes challenging?

Understanding Northwestern’s Academic Landscape

At the heart of Northwestern’s reputation lies its comprehensive research institution, deeply rooted in interdisciplinary studies.

This approach, woven through the myriad of colleges and departments, ensures that students aren’t just confined to their primary field of study.

They are actively encouraged to delve into diverse domains, fostering a holistic educational experience.

A Blend of Theory and Practical Exposure

Northwestern doesn’t believe in one-dimensional learning. Here, academics are a blend of solid theoretical knowledge, backed by practical exposure.

There’s a pronounced emphasis on cutting-edge research, ensuring students are always at the forefront of new information and discoveries.

This dynamic combination nurtures creativity, prompting students to not just accumulate knowledge but also apply their learned skills in tangible real-world scenarios.

A student talking to a professor.

The Northwestern Community: A Hub of Innovation and Collaboration

Being a part of Northwestern means immersing oneself in a community that is always looking ahead. This forward-thinking ethos, coupled with a strong sense of collaboration, is what makes the Northwestern experience unique.

Such an environment not only cultivates academic brilliance but also molds students into global citizens ready to face the world’s challenges.

Reputation Rooted in Excellence

With its stringent academic programs and a well-structured curriculum, Northwestern has, over the years, solidified its position as a top-tier research institution.

The courses, touted among the best globally, play a pivotal role in the university’s unparalleled reputation for excellence.

The Intention Behind the Rigor

Yes, Northwestern’s curriculum is intentionally designed to be challenging. It pushes students out of their comfort zones, compelling them to strive for excellence.

But it’s essential to understand the intent behind this rigor. It’s not just about making courses tough; it’s about preparing students for the challenges of the real world, equipping them with resilience and an unyielding spirit.

Support Systems in Place

Recognizing the inherent challenges of its demanding curriculum, Northwestern ensures that students aren’t left to fend for themselves.

A plethora of resources, from tutoring sessions to academic coaching, are available to students. The dedicated teaching staff, with their unwavering commitment, continually support students, ensuring they reach their academic objectives.

Subjectivity of ‘Difficulty’

It’s also worth noting that ‘difficulty’ is a subjective term. What might be challenging for one student could be a breeze for another.

This variability is often influenced by the student’s academic background, interests, and aspirations. Thus, while the courses are rigorous, the experience varies for each individual.

Rigorous Yet Rewarding

While navigating the academic waters of Northwestern might be demanding, it is undeniably rewarding.

Many students often find that their hard work, perseverance, and relentless pursuit of knowledge reap significant rewards, both in terms of personal growth and intellectual enrichment.

In conclusion, while Northwestern’s classes are undeniably challenging, they are structured to offer students a well-rounded, immersive, and ultimately rewarding educational journey.

What is Northwestern known for academically?

What is it that Northwestern University is famous for in the academic world? The majority of Northwestern’s schools and colleges provide undergraduate degrees, and some of those schools and colleges are as follows:

  • Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
  • School of Communication
  • School of Education & Social Policy
  • McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science
  • Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications
  • Bienen School of Music

Journalism and music were offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels and are regarded as two of the most noteworthy programs. In fact, Medill is regarded as the best journalism school in the entirety of the United States.

Many undergraduates declare double majors or pursue several minors. Every school on campus offers the opportunity to get two degrees, except the School of Communication.

Nonetheless, students are free to enroll in classes at any of the six institutions presented above.

An assistant professor smiling at the camera.

Also, students can pursue minors in addition to certifications and modules, allowing them to go more deeply into specialized areas and the best classes at Northwestern and make connections between different subjects.

Students may also seek dual degrees across schools. The following are some possibilities:

  • BA/BS in Liberal Arts and Engineering
  • BA/BMus in Liberal Arts and Music
  • BA/BS or BS/BS in Communication and Engineering
  • BA/BMus, BS/BMus, BA/BAMus, or BS/BAMus in Communication and Music
  • BSED/BMus or BSED/BAMus in Education and Social Policy and in Music
  • BS/BMus or BS/BAMus in Engineering and Music
  • BSJ/BMus in Journalism and Music

The quarter system at Northwestern is also one of the school’s defining characteristics. It gives students the flexibility to pursue a variety of academic and extracurricular pursuits.

To conclude, Northwestern’s best classes provide an unparalleled educational experience that can transform students’ lives. From the humanities to the natural sciences, these classes challenge students to think critically, engage with diverse perspectives, and develop innovative solutions to complex problems.

With a world-class faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, and a strong commitment to experiential learning, Northwestern offers students a unique opportunity to engage in cutting-edge research, connect with a diverse community of scholars and learners, and develop the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in their chosen careers.

By experiencing the best classes at Northwestern, students can gain the confidence, expertise, and passion they need to impact the world and become leaders in their fields positively.

If you are considering attending Northwestern University and exploring its exceptional classes, booking an initial consultation with AdmissionSight is a smart step.

Our admissions experts can guide you in selecting the best Northwestern classes and creating an academic plan that aligns with your interests and goals.

Don’t hesitate to book your initial consultation today and take the first step toward achieving your dreams!


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