General Education

Zombies, Miley Cyrus, and Star Trek: 5 Great Pop Culture College Courses

Zombies, Miley Cyrus, and Star Trek: 5 Great Pop Culture College Courses
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Adam D'Arpino August 6, 2014

From classes about the zombie apocalypse to Miley Cyrus, colleges all over the country are offering courses off the beaten track.

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Everyone knows that college is a time to expand your horizons. This means trying new things, branching out, and taking college classes that are awesome and perhaps a little outside of your “traditional” subject matter.

Pop culture has become a fascinating field of academic study with classes on everything from Miley Cyrus to the zombie apocalypse. Here are five of the most unexpected current culture classes you can take in college.

1. Star Trek and Philosophy

Do you love Star Trek? Do you spend hours arguing if Data’s positronic brain can ever truly allow him to be “human?” You can showcase your talent for talking Star Trek shop by taking “Philosophy and Star Trek.” So long as you go to Georgetown, that is.

According to Georgetown’s website, the philosophy class allows you to mull over questions on free will, metaphysics, and time travel (“Could you go back and kill your grandmother?”).

2. Disasters, Catastrophes, and Human Behavior: Surviving the Coming Zombie Apocalypse

Michigan State University‘s fully online, award-winning summer seminar gives students the chance to take on complex problem solving as they “attempt to survive the catastrophe, escape death by zombies, and preserve the future of civilization,” which sounds way more fun than say, algebra.

It’s also notably a 200 level course, because everyone knows you can’t just dive into the zombie apocalypse your freshman year.

3. The Sociology of Miley: Race, Class, Gender and Media

Miley Cyrus really does get a lot of attention these days, but is there more to the twerking teen star? Thankfully, this summer, the good folks at Skidmore College in Saratoga, New York will remedy the issue with “The Sociology of Miley: Race, Class, Gender and Media.”

According to the course’s professor, the class will focus on the “surprisingly complicated cultural moment” and use her as a jumping off point to explore “core issues of intersectionality.” We’re interested to see if, maybe, they’ll also discuss her other notables, like selfies and twerking.

4. Breaking Down Breaking Bad

Like pizza and the Beatles, “Breaking Bad” is just one of those things everyone seems to like. So why not spend a few hours on SUNY Buffalo‘s Breaking Down Breaking Bad class during the spring 2014 semester (that is to say, right now)?

According to SUNY Buffalo’s website, the graduate seminar “analyzes the critically acclaimed series’ realistic storyline, development and execution.” This may or may not be an amazing way to hang out, binge watch “Breaking Bad,” and learn something in the process.

5. Feminist Perspectives: Politicizing Beyoncé

This Spring, Rutgers students are getting an academic look at former Destiny’s Child front-woman and current extraordinarily famous person Beyoncé, in a class that uses her work as “lenses to explore American race, gender and sexual politics.” Beyoncé is a force of nature and one of music’s most respected stars. If we can listen to — and study “XO” — for course credit, sign us up!


Course to break down “Breaking Bad.” (n.d.). Jackson Breaking Bad. Retrieved April 26, 2014, from SUNY Buffalo

Directory. (n.d.). PHIL-180 Philosophy and Star Trek. Retrieved April 26, 2014, from Georgetown

Michaels, S. (2014, March 28). Back to twerk … Miley Cyrus to be studied on new university course. Retrieved April 26, 2014, from The Guardian

SW290: Surviving the Coming Zombie Apocalypse | Disasters, Catastrophes, and Human Behavior. (n.d.). Michigan State. Retrieved April 26, 2014, from MSU

The ABC’s Of Beyonce? Rutgers University Offers ‘Politicizing Beyonce’ Course. (2014, January 8). CBS New York. Retrieved April 26, 2014, from CBS Local News


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