Universities Require Unnecessary Classes

By Farah Bassyouni Jan 22, 2024

One of the many reasons I found college discouraging and tedious was because of the mass amounts of general education classes or other requirements that had absolutely nothing to do with my major. As an English major, I don’t find it necessary to take an art history, earth science, biology, and math course to fulfill my degree. Those were just a few of the two years of my life I didn’t need, and I still have more to go.

But I am not the only one who believes this. North Star is a student paper where Emily Beebe wrote an article titled, “Gen ed courses should be abolished.” She interviewed junior computer science major Patrick Logan who said that taking courses “outside of one’s major is unnecessary.” He said, “I think those who have a good idea on their major shouldn’t be forced to take random unrelated classes, but instead give them ones to help them graduate earlier.”

Beebe went on to write that if students could graduate earlier without gen ed courses, they should have that opportunity, making the argument that taking unrelated courses outside of “a student’s career path is a complete waste of time,” and money.

I was lucky enough to have a full ride my first two years of college, but now I have loans and finding out that I have to take more courses to graduate that have nothing to do with my major is aggravating. I have heard from numerous students in my classes that they hate the idea of taking three foreign language courses, a math course, a psychology or sociology class, or a science course, because it doesn’t relate to their degree, and while other colleges have requirements like Wesleyan, it seems that liberal arts colleges and universities require even more. That is what makes it stand out against a regular university or college. However, that kind of higher requirement means less time spent in the degree field of a student’s choice and hinges on the assumption that students who are coming into liberal arts programs know absolutely nothing. Whereas, in a regular college or university students are thought to know at least a little more than their liberal arts counterparts.

University Star opinion writer Jonny Wheatcroft wrote in his article, “College degrees should not require core credits,” “The purpose of high school is to provide each student with a general education to help prepare them for what they choose to pursue next. Requiring students to take further general education classes in college assumes that those four years in high school were spent doing nothing more than watching paint dry… The purpose of college should not be to reinforce redundant information and universities should do away with basic courses.”

Instead of forcing students to take core credits and courses upon courses of unnecessary classes they can utilize the electives that many college students are required to take to explore on their own. It not only saves time and money, it makes the students happier to know that they are making their own choices, learning about something they are interested in, and that their time is well-spent.

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