9 Classes You Have to Take at JMU

Let’s face it, the JMU course catalog is the same size as a textbook, and dense with classes for students to take. Finding ones that are fun, informational and timeless can be difficult. Here are some ideas for classes that students in the past have enjoyed. There are a few you may want to consider as electives, and others that are among the general education cluster requirements.

  1. KIN classes

The kinesiology program at JMU provides opportunities for students to be active and gain credit hours. You do not have to be a kinesiology major to participate in KIN classes 122-180. These classes include scuba diving, skiing, rock climbing, running, and much more. The classes are typically one credit and last for eight weeks of the semester. Read the fine line in the course catalog though, or you could find yourself paying more than you originally intended to.

  1. DANCE classes

Similar to kinesiology, the JMU dance program has opportunities to help students stay active while receiving course credit. These classes tend to fill up quickly. Worth two credits, the dance classes do not require you to already know how to dance or be a dance major, but usually have prerequisite dance classes to proceed to higher levels. If you are looking for an opportunity to gain elective credit, and feel like you want to stay active, check out the dance section of your course catalog. You could enroll in tap, interpretive, or ballroom dance, to name a few.

  1. HEALTH 357

Another elective you may consider taking is Health 357: Coping with Stress. College comes with its own set of stressors that can affect your personal health and overall brain functions, which can hinder your learning abilities. This one credit course could be an opportunity for you to earn credit while you gain skills to manage your stress.

  1. PSYC 256: Human Sexuality

Let’s talk about sex. Who doesn’t like to talk about sex? Better yet, why not take a class on it. Weathered professor and psychologist, Bijian Saadatmand, “Uncle Bijian” teaches this class about how to find, maintain and cope with relationships. From communication and intimacy, to marriage and divorce, this eight-week, three-credit class covers all the bases. Here is an opportunity to ask questions about personal relationships, and learn from the experiences of others in a closed, safe environment primed for conversation and discussion.

Don’t miss these GENEDS!

  1. GKIN
  2. The health/wellness cluster of the general education program has opportunities for students to gain GenEd credit hours by being active. Classes like GKIN 100, have swimming, cardio and strength training sections for students to participate in. Although the classes don’t require previous experience, don’t take swimming if you don’t know how to swim! The classes are split into half-lecture and half-action and you will be evaluated on both sections of the class. Learning how to stay active at school is a lifelong quality that will help you remain active when you are working full-time.
  3. GANTH 205: Buried Cities and Lost Tribes
  4. This anthropology class is in the second cluster of the GenEd program at JMU. This class focuses on artifacts; fossils, art and history of different tribes to better understand cultures. This class fills up very quickly though, so if you’re interested in taking it, make it a top priority during registration.
  5. GSCI 104: Fly Fishing
  6. Let’s face it: science is not for everyone. JMU offers this GSCI one credit course for those who need a lab to satisfy their general education criteria, but are not interested in any of the subject matter that is available for the general education labs (ex. geology, chemistry, biology, etc.) Offered in the spring, this class gives students the opportunity to learn how to fly fish for eight weeks. The class meets once a week and is just one hour long. Maybe an opportunity for you to gain knowledge where you never knew you could!
  7. GCOM- Clayton Johnson
  8. As a required class for all incoming freshmen during their first year, general communication can be a bit dry for some folks. According to word-of-mouth and ratemyprofessor.com Clayton Johnson is the professor to seek for GCOM. A red chili pepper on ratemyprofessor.com suggests alongside his 4.2 average suggests that he’s a treat for the class and the eyes. If you are trying to get in his section, prioritize his class as one of the first ones you sign up for, he is a hot commodity in the GCOM cluster.
  9. GPHIL – Ge Baas
  10. Another professor who is popular among the students is Ge Baas. He teaches philosophy for the general education cluster (a requirement also for Bachelor of Arts), and is supposedly insanely animated and approaches the class in a basic manner. Many times, professors can be overqualified in their field and when teaching general education classes to students who may have little to no interest in the course they use jargon which surpasses the students’ knowledge. Professors like Baas get students excited about the subject matter, even if it is not necessarily their strong suit.
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