What are the Unique Courses at Princeton?

December 12, 2022
By AdmissionSight

What are the Unique Courses at Princeton?

Princeton University is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, having first opened its doors in 1746. The fact that Princeton offers students the chance to learn from the absolute best in their profession, as well as a general financial aid package, is one of the primary draws for prospective students. Furthermore, being able to study many unique courses at Princeton opens doors to future prospects.

The rankings for 2022 put Princeton University in the top place, making it the best school overall. Students have the opportunity to enroll, in addition to the more typical course options, in unique courses at Princeton and programs that have been specifically tailored for them.

What is Princeton Known for?

What is Princeton known for? The University’s emphasis on autonomous work is one of the distinctive features of the undergraduate experience at Princeton University. Both the Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) and Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E.) programs are available to students at Princeton University.

Each graduating class has about 25% of students who choose to pursue a B.S.E. degree, while the remaining 75% choose to pursue an A.B. degree.

Princeton building hidden by trees.

A junior project and a senior thesis are requirements for everyone enrolled in the A.B. degree. The junior project, or JP for short, gives students the option to carry out a research study on a subject of their choice while being guided by a faculty member.

The JP can be finished in a number of different ways, including through fieldwork, laboratory work, or even while studying abroad. The JP gives students useful, practical skills while also assisting them in getting ready to finish their senior theses. While the JP is not a requirement for B.S.E. students, many departments provide plenty of chances for such independent work throughout their degree programs.

Additionally, there are a lot of particular unique courses at Princeton created with the aim of gaining information and related practical abilities.

The senior thesis is a capstone project that enables students to conceptualize, improve, and complete a respectable piece of scholarly work. It is a requirement for the A.B. degree and the majority of B.S.E. concentrations. These two projects together represent an intense, student-led learning opportunity that will be extremely beneficial for any student’s future academic and professional endeavors.

What are the Unique Courses at Princeton?

So, what are the unique courses at Princeton? Princeton is an exceptional institution that demands not only top academic performance but also a strong résumé and a clear sense of purpose. You can perfect your exams all you want, but without clear objectives, you won’t be able to convince Princeton to accept you. Investigating all the University has to offer and determining which unique courses at Princeton, majors, diplomas, etc., correspond to your objectives is one of the ways you might express your objectives.

One of the beautiful hallways in Princeton with intricate carvings

Knowing your “why” and having some idea of what you want to do while attending Princeton are prerequisites. So that you can distinguish yourself from the competition of applicants, let’s explore some of the unique courses at Princeton being offered this coming 2023.

ART 388 / GSS 300 Fascist Aesthetics: Women & Photography between the World Wars

One of the unique courses at Princeton, this course examines the varied ways in which women photographers have responded to the political upheavals of their periods, beginning with the 1920s. How have female practitioners resisted fascist regimes in their various contexts and/or helped them gain power? What can we learn about the aesthetic force of complacency, complicity, and resistance by looking at and reevaluating their work?

The course will examine a wide range of works by women and seek to think critically about the distinctive roles they played in creating and criticizing fascist visual culture in Europe and beyond, along with important literature on race, gender, colonialism, and exile.

EAS 211 / COM 213 / ART 225 Manga: Visual Culture in Modern Japan

The comic book as an expressive medium in Japan is examined in this course. We ask ourselves: How has Japan’s unique history influenced cartooning as an art form there as we read a variety of works, both classic and modern, in a variety of genres? What critical methods can guide our insightful analysis of comics (and other popular culture)?

Moreover, as one of the unique courses at Princeton, this course will delve deeper into how can the impact of a visual medium be translated into formal written language. What are the implications for comics today of advances in media technology, literacy, and distribution? Readings, written analysis, and technical tasks will all be included in the coursework. The readings are all in English. The fine arts are not necessary.

SPI 590B / POL 598 Politics of Inequality and Redistribution

With a focus on class and race in the US, the course explores how politics and inequality interact. With some consideration of political institutions, the emphasis is on the political beliefs and actions of individuals.

Do the poor, middle class, and rich have equitable representation in the political system, for example? This will be one of the topics covered in the course. Are Americans in favor of the government reducing inequality? How do structural elements like location impact racial and ethnic disparity politics? Why do some individuals see immigration as a threat while others welcome it?

EAS 236 / COM 228 Chinese Cinemas

This course serves as an introduction to current Chinese films from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China. The range of Chinese cinemas, which includes postwar musicals, pan-Asian blockbusters, new-wave avant-garde films, and experimental documentaries, demonstrates how cinema has responded to global capitalism, Asian democratic movements, financial crises, and the advent of (post)socialism.

Chinese cinemas made urban nomads, singers, daydreamers, tourists, and terrorists, showcasing the effects of globalization on the aesthetics and politics of cinema. Selections often range from uncommon art house works to well-known mainstream movies.

ATL 497 / AAS 497 / DAN 497 Princeton Atelier: Tap Dance Experiments in Video and Sound/Rhythm: SOIL, SAND, BONE

Students in this course will collaborate with Princeton Arts Fellow Michael J. Love, film-based artist Ariel René Jackson, and rhythmanalyst DeForrest Brown, Jr., to create a new multi-channel video and live performance installation. This will include a live performance by the students (choreographed and directed by Love), Jackson’s video, and Brown’s electronic music-based composition.

In addition to weekly technical workshops and choreography rehearsals, students will participate in readings, selected media, talks by Love, Jackson, and Brown, and other activities. There will be a live performance and exhibition at the end of the training.

SPI 353 / MAE 353 Science and Global Security: From Nuclear Weapons to Cyberwarfare and Artificial Intelligence

Students who complete this course will have a fundamental technical understanding of the science and technology pertinent to present and future concerns of national and international security. Nuclear weapons, biotechnology and biosecurity, weapons of mass destruction delivery systems, cyber warfare, worldwide surveillance, quantum technologies, and artificial intelligence are some of the subjects addressed in this course.

In the second half of the semester, students engage in small groups on in-depth case studies that combine technical and policy analysis while examining a current or developing global security challenge of their choice.

EEB 428 The Biology of Superheroes: Exploring the Limits of Form and Function

This lecture and discussion course will investigate odd phenomena in the natural world and delve into fundamental scientific theory and principles using topics from graphic novels and science fiction as well as biological and technological research.

Evolution, genetics, physiology, biomechanics, brain-machine interface, and artificial intelligence are just a few of the subjects that will be explored. While discussions will focus on an in-depth investigation of scientific and sociocultural topics through reading and literary analysis, lectures will serve to introduce each topic by fusing science fiction with current concerns and theories in biology.

ASA 320 / GSS 377 / AMS 220 / SAS 318 Asian American Gender and Sexuality

For a very long time, gender and sexuality have been contested among Asian Americans. The course will start with Black and Asian feminist criticisms of conventional gender and sexuality to analyze this narrative.

The focus of the course will then shift to sociocultural history, with an examination of court cases involving the regulation of intimacy and the formation of the gendered and sexualized Asian woman in San Francisco in the late 19th century.

The history of conventional sexuality, queer and trans communities’ politics and social lives, gendered labor, representation, and the post-9/11 age will all be covered later in the course.

AAS 339 / EGR 339 Black Mirror: Race, Technology, and Justice

Are robots prejudiced? Is software sexist? The neutrality of neural networks Technology has the ability to disguise, accelerate, and even deepen discrimination—from commonplace apps to sophisticated algorithms.

We will examine a variety of emerging technologies that incorporate inequity into digital platforms and automated decision-making systems using the Black Mirror TV series as our starting point. We will also develop a conceptual toolkit to help us evaluate tech promises with a sociologically informed skepticism.

Students will learn to convey course discoveries to tech practitioners, legislators, and the general public while using design justice concepts in a group project.

MUS 246 / AFS 246 Dundun Projects

As part of the unique courses at Princeton, a performance training on modern West African bass drumming with an emphasis on Dundun drumming Olivier Tarpaga, a composer and virtuoso drummer, teaches the school, which offers practical training in both traditional and modern Manding bass drumming beat.

The ability to perform on the Kenkeni, Sangban, and Dundumba drums will be acquired by the students. Students will study the history of the old Manding/Mali empire and the griots’ culture.

What to Consider in Choosing a Course?

With the knowledge of some of the unique courses at Princeton, it is important that you should know what to consider in choosing a course. Taking too many classes that aren’t important to your degree can backfire if they prevent you from fulfilling the criteria for your major, despite the fact that you will almost certainly have the freedom to take classes in different fields that interest you. If you take too many classes that aren’t important to your degree, it can backfire if it prevents you from fulfilling the criteria for your major.

Female student writing on a table with a laptop.

If something like that takes place, you can end up spending a lot more than four years in school. When selecting any of the unique courses at Princeton, all you need to do is keep these considerations in mind, and you’ll be fine.

Select courses that intrigue your interest

Even if you aren’t sure what you want to major in, it’s a good idea to have a rough sense of what it is you want to study. Think back to the subject in high school that you were most excited to learn more about. Whose assignments could you easily finish in a short amount of time if you were given the chance? These factors may have a role in the decision you make regarding your major.

This in no way suggests that you should sign up for the easy classes that you overheard students talking about while walking around campus. It is possible that setting low goals for yourself will hinder you from taking your academic work in college seriously and achieving the degree that is intended for you. Challenge yourself when it comes to subjects that you genuinely want to learn more about.

Collaborate with your assigned faculty advisor

You should have access to someone who can assist you in picking your courses, whether it be one of your professors or a member of your institution’s academic advising staff. If you do not have access to this person, your college should make arrangements for you to have access to this person (or both). Although it is mostly your job to ensure that you fulfill the criteria for your major, your academic advisor should aid you in doing so and should be able to provide guidance regarding the selection of electives.

a female student being interviewed and hand shaken

If you want to be sure that you are heading in the right direction, you should aim to meet with this person at least once per semester, possibly when you are selecting your classes for the following semester. Discuss your goals with them, especially if you start to think about changing your major, and keep them updated on your progress and any challenges you have along the way.

When planning out your academic timetable, do it with reason in mind

You no longer have the assistance or supervision of your parents to help you obtain a good night’s sleep, get up for school, or complete your schoolwork on time, regardless of whether or not you are aware of this fact. Although not all students will have this issue, a significant number of them will, and it may force you to skip those early lessons or simply prevent you from giving them your best effort.

When you don’t have to worry about your mother accidentally setting off her personal alarm and yanking the blankets off of your freezing body, pressing the snooze button on your alarm clock is considerably less of a hassle.

Group of students working on a table with strewn papers.

You might want to think about scheduling your classes later in the day and giving yourself some downtime in between sessions. Take advantage of the breaks to have a bite to eat or a quick snooze before moving on to the next session. You won’t believe how energized you are in the morning and how that feeling lasts throughout the day. It will be less taxing on your mind if you schedule difficult classes in the afternoon or immediately after lunch, as this will significantly increase your capacity to concentrate on the material at hand.

When you sit down to create your course calendar, the goal is to choose classes that you will look forward to attending each and every day. Get to bed at a normal hour and think about getting a second alarm if you are absolutely committed to attending those classes that start quite early in the morning.

Keep yourself organized

Do you learn best through hearing, seeing, or doing things with your hands? If you don’t know the answer, take your time to find it through study. Maintaining your organization is essential to your success in college. Because you have so many classes, social engagements, and extracurricular activities going on, you are bound to make some errors.

Two students attending an online class.

Planners and calendars could be useful for people who retain information best when it is presented visually or experienced physically. Or, if you believe that using a voice recorder will be beneficial for you, go ahead and purchase one. If there is something you need to do or something you think you might forget, make sure you write it down (or record it). Checking one’s email every day and concentrating while in school are both important. When you have a routine down, maintaining organization is easy, and it won’t be long before it becomes second nature.

Do not make your life more challenging by getting a part-time job

It’s possible that having a part-time job will interfere with your schoolwork and eat up a significant amount of time that you could otherwise devote to your studies. You won’t have a need for extra spending money during your first years of college because it’s likely that you’ll be living on campus, you’ll have a meal plan, and you’ll be able to take advantage of the university’s transportation options. The majority of part-time occupations just provide that, in point of fact.

Your tuition should cover everything that’s been listed here. Additionally, if you do not work during the week, you will have more time on the weekends, which is essential if you wish to maintain your current academic standing. You should give work-study or internships/coops in your intended field of study the priority if you have to work to pay for your education or if you have free time between semesters. However, if you must work to pay for your education, you should prioritize these opportunities.

Want to learn more about some of the unique courses at Princeton? You’ve come to the right place. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college. Contact us today for more information on our services.

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