Five Courses Every College Student Should Take

The courses you take in college will depend on your major, but all degree programs have plenty of open spots for students to take other classes that might interest them. College provides a lot of opportunities to learn about things that can benefit you later in life. Whether you choose to take courses that will broaden your world view or give you practical skills, taking a class outside of your usual area of study is a great idea. Here are five classes that everyone should take:

Foreign Language

Taking a language class is a graduation requirement for most universities, and foreign language classes are extremely useful. Different universities offer different languages, but it’s probably a good idea to take your language of choice into consideration. Spanish is the most useful for many people but other options like French, Chinese and Japanese are also popular.

If you find that you enjoy languages, you can also learn multiple foreign languages while in college. Speaking a foreign language opens you up to several types of careers, including translators or ESL teachers. It will also help you if you ever plan to travel the world or move to a foreign country.

Computer Science

Technology is a crucial element of modern life, and people need computer skills in every type of career. If you didn’t grow up around computers, a computer science class is absolutely essential. Even people who grew up with the Internet could still use a computer science course or two to learn how to properly use different types of software. If you’d rather take a more advanced course, you might want to learn a simple programming language or web design.

These skills are extremely handy in several different careers, and they also provide you with experience that can be used to support goals later in life. For example, you could learn how to design your own website for a business, or you could offer your skills as a freelancer for part-time work while building your career in another field.

Finance or Accounting

A personal finance course is a good way to learn about maintaining your own finances. It’s also a good way to learn more about the realities of budgeting, investing and other money-related topics. You’ll need to learn about these topics at some time in your life, so approaching them from an educational standpoint may be better than learning from your own experiences.


Understanding how and why the economy works is vital to being a responsible citizen. It’s difficult to know how to vote or where to stand on certain issues if you don’t understand economics. A good economics class also teaches you about politics and culture, and you’ll learn a lot of valuable information that can applied to many choices you make throughout life.


Studying how and why people think the way they do can be extremely helpful in dealing with people in the work force. Developing an understanding of different personality types and learning behaviors, for example, will make you better at working with a team. Understanding psychology will also help you better assess the actions of those around you and make smart choices when it comes to relationships, community interactions and other interpersonal situations. It might also help you better understand your own actions so that you can make wise choices with the way you handle your own life, from study habits to personal relationships.

There are many other college courses that can be extremely helpful. For example, you should take at least one English course to sharpen your writing and communications skills, and courses in literature can help you understand your world and its relationship to history. A history, sociology or anthropology class can also help teach you more about your world. You might also want to take a creative writing class, theatre or art to help find ways to express yourself. Most degree programs will have basic requirements for some of these classes, and others can be taken as electives.

If you want to take one of these courses, be sure to check with your advisor about the best way to fit these into your schedule. Some students end up taking courses they like but end up with too many credits and still unable to graduate on time. It’s important to find a balance between what you like and the particular requirements of your degree program to ensure you can graduate on time.

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