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Classes to take in the fall that will make your life easier

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MAY 30, 2014

The most important and overwhelming part of becoming an incoming student is choosing your classes for the first time. No longer are you restricted to a yearly schedule of English, math, history, science and an extracurricular of your choice — it’s all up to you. To help you through the process, the Daily Clog has come up with a few courses we thought would be good to consider when you form your schedule. Although not all these courses will be available or open, they were carefully selected after speaking with various students of different majors and colleges.

Psychology C19

Arguably one of the most popular freshman courses to take, “Drugs in the Brain” is always highly recommended for freshmen. Students find the course load to be easier than some of the other challenging classes offered at UC Berkeley, and it counts as a prerequisite for psychology majors!

History C187

Students who are interested in learning about human rights should take this course to learn more about the relationship between revolutions, imperialism, racism, genocide, etc. This would probably be a good course for students seeking a social welfare major or intending to go to law school.

Math 16 series/Math 1 series

These math courses are often required on a variety of paths, including pre-Haas, premed and public health. If these courses are required for your major, it would be advisable to get these out of the way. A majority of students who take these courses are freshmen.

Students who aren’t confident in math or haven’t taken a calculus course in high school can also take Math 32 P/NP to get an introduction before diving into the calculus courses.

Nutritional Sciences 10

Most letters and science students who want to shy away from sciences recommend taking Nutritional Sciences 10 to get rid of the biological science breadth. It’s an educational class, especially for freshmen living on their own for the first time and wanting to make healthy life choices. It’s also considered one of the easier courses and has a light workload, which can be a good thing for transitioning freshmen.

Film R1A

For students who aren’t interested in reading and analyzing classic literature, Film R1A courses provide an alternative: analyzing movies. There are various Film R1A courses with different focuses. Last year, courses ranged from criminal psychology to the idea of “Big Brother.” Though the courses are still writing intensive, it’s a different approach to fulfill your R1A requirement, without having to analyze eight books.

Gender and Women’s Studies R1B 

You’re a Berkeley student now — taking a gender and women’s study course should be a norm. If film doesn’t seem like the right fit for you, this class might be a better choice. Not only does this fulfill your Reading and Composition requirement, but it’s a great class to learn more about a topic that is more popular now than ever.

Slavic R5B 

This is great if you want to analyze works written by Russian and other Slavic writers. It’ll fulfill the second half of your Reading and Composition requirement and you’ll be able to bust out knowledge of Slavic literature to your high school friends when you go back home for winter break.


While it is important to take Economics and UGBA 10, students actually recommend waiting until the spring semester to take those, when freshmen are better adapted to the college lifestyle.

Statistics 21

The least math-intensive course, Statistics 21 provides an easier way out for students who aren’t as confident about their calculus or algebra skills. Most pre-Haas students recommend taking this course, as it is often easier and nicer to your GPA than other math courses such as Math 1A.

Anthropology 1

This course, which focuses on evolutionary biology, also provides information on skeletal biology and taphonomy, which most premed students found valuable. This breadth helped premed students lighten their workload while still taking courses that interested them and benefited them in the long run.

Anthropology 2AC

Since an English course is required for premed students, it might be advisable to take Anthro 2AC instead of a regular English course. Anthro 2AC, in particular, focuses more on science than on grammar, making it more appealing for students who are interested in science.

DeCal: International & Area Studies 98, “Visual Notetaking”

Though most students wouldn’t automatically think of this course first when enrolling on Tele-BEARS, electrical engineering and computer sciences majors have suggested that IAS 98, “Visual Notetaking,” will help students develop better notes to use in class. Most students are advised to take a DeCal course during their freshman year, so why not this one?

Anthropology 3AC

Students majoring in public health have used this course to fulfill their prerequisite, their breadth and their AC requirements all at once. Anthropology 3AC also serves as a prerequisite for psychology majors.

Legal Studies R1B

Since there isn’t technically a prelaw major, students may want to consider taking a few legal studies courses to make sure they want to pursue law school.

Philosophy 4

Not only is Philosophy 4 a prerequisite for the major, but the course also fulfills the philosophy and values breadth requirement for L&S students.

L&S C30T Drugs and the Brain 

If you don’t like science but need to fulfill the Biological Science breadth requirement for L&S, then this is the class for you. Dealing with the biology, chemistry, psychology, and sociology of psychoactive drugs, this Discovery Course is popular with students as it gives them a fun way to learn about drugs and effects they have on the human brain and human behavior.


Contact Ilaf Esuf at [email protected].

MAY 30, 2014