As the class of 2012 will soon find out, UCSB is a place to learn many more things than just what’s on your Major Requirements sheet. UCSB students can take advantage of a course list with more options than a game of Battleship to learn more about almost any subject their little hearts desire. So, let the Daily Nexus provide you with a brief overview of some the most interesting and scandalous classes at UCSB.

Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll

Sex sells. It’s true, so why not jump out of the freshmen seminar comfort zone and learn how to distinguish fact from fiction in Sociology 152A? The Sociology of Human Sexuality teaches students about the differences between men and women, STDs, abortion, anatomy and sexual behavior.

According to third-year sociology major Alexis Bartlow, she is taking the class because of the excellent reputation the class boasts and the academic spin on the popular topic.

“I’ve heard from friends that it’s a really fun class. I would like to learn about [human sexuality] in a scholastic setting, so that I know more facts rather than urban legends and myths.”

The class also satisfies the Area D social science general education requirement.

Yes, to answer that burning question in every potential film major’s mind, UCSB really does have a pornography class. Film and Media Studies 150PG does not satisfy a single GE requirement, but there’s porn – even gay porn – need we say more?

“It’s not alcoholism if you’re still in college,” is a saying that many of you newbie Gauchos will hear often in your college career, but if you’re interested in the potential long-term damage that heavy drinking and drug-use can do to a person, check out Exercise and Sport Studies 2.

Ever curious what music your parents (or grandparents) partied to in their day? No? Well, regardless, the Music Dept.’s History of Music 112F, The Twentieth Century, showcases the evolution of music from 1870 to present day, counts toward the writing requirement, and is a fine opportunity to study some excellent tunes.


Come on, it’s UC Santa Barbara. Is it really that surprising that we have a class on surfing? The Geography Dept. has put together Geography 20, the Geography of Surfing, to teach you how Poseidon makes that perfect tube. While a surfboard is not on the required materials list, the class does teach the science behind wave mechanics and the dollars and sense of the surfing industry.

Trivial Pursuit

UCSB history professors have some interesting fields of study, and luckily for us, plenty of them create whole classes around their favorite historical mishaps. For instance History 3, The Ides of March, is an entire class devoted to the day that Julius Caesar was stabbed 23 times.

If you want history this quarter, History 115X, Medieval Scandals, is being offered this fall and covers the Templars, the Fourth Crusade and enough drama to make your prom night seem like a trip to Free Parking.

Not to mention The Samurai… No, not that Tom Cruise movie, but the class, History 187S, which takes students on an adventure to discover the evolution of the samurai, and the hierarchy within the elite military group.

Mouse Trap

While this class will not teach you the skills of Dr. Doolittle, Linguistics 185 will teach you the many different forms of animal communication from sensory to comparing human versus animal forms of communication. As an added bonus, the class also counts as an Aarea C Science, Math and Technology requirement.

Guess Who?

Maybe you wanted to be Sherlock Holmes when you were a little kid, or maybe you want to read really awesome mystery stories. Either way, the choice to take English 193 is “elementary, my dear Watson.” The English Dept.’s Detective Fiction class covers the writings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Walter Mosley and Mo Hayder. English 193 and also fulfills the writing and Area G Literature GE requirements.


Want to dominate world cultures? Flipping through the General Catalog under any of the many language sections will give you a feel of just how weird our campus truly is. First off, under the Germanic, Slavic and Semitic Studies listings, you will find the following courses: The Horror Film; Vampirism in German Literature and Beyond; Satan in German Literature and Beyond; Fantasy; The Superhuman; Psy Fi: German Science Fiction; and Death and Representation.

And it doesn’t stop there. The French and Italian section has a few eyebrow-raisers: Torture; Medieval Urban Legends; Women on Trial; Trials of Desire in the Middle Ages; and Love, Adultery and the Supernatural.

According to third-year theater and English double major Rachel Seele, the French Dept.’s Tales of Love series attracted her because of its originality.

“I took the class because it seemed really interesting. It seemed like a course that a lot of other schools didn’t have, so it was unique to UCSB,” Seele said.

She also said that taking a class outside of her major persuaded her to become a double major.

“Writing about the different types of love led me to become an English major,” she added.

Make sure to not overlook the Religious Studies Dept. for a few good stories of international intrigue. Their course list includes: Religious Approaches to Death; Zen; Heresies; Marriage in the Ancient World; Creation of Myths; and numerous foreign languages that you might not expect. Elementary Tibetan and Punjabi are a few that come to mind.

Before planning your Game of Life around these stellar suggestions, make sure to check GOLD or the UCSB General Catalog for any prerequisites that the classes might have. If you haven’t taken the prerequisites or your schedule doesn’t allow for an enrolled detour into the unusual, try checking out the classes you’re interested in, even if your name isn’t yelled during roll call. Just imagine… you can play the game without ever feeling Sorry!