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Courses Recommendations on Arts Options

  1. Apr 14, 2017 #1
    Hello all, I am currently choosing my classes for my first year studies in honors physics at the University of Alberta and am seeking some advice on my Arts options. I want them to be interesting and at least somewhat relevant to my studies in science. With that being said, I am thinking of going with either history or philosophy courses on science and technology, but am unsure which subject would be more interesting/helpful. Any suggestions are welcome!
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 14, 2017 #2
    I can't give you personal advice. But if I could repeat my student years, knowing what I know now, I would take the most fun and easiest Arts classes, with the aim of getting an "A" to keep my GPA up, while not expending much time or energy. In general I would save my time and energy for physics, mathematics, and any other required STEM courses. But I would allocate some of the time I would save by taking easier courses to getting extra sleep.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  4. Apr 14, 2017 #3
    i would take a corse in logic courses if possible.
  5. Apr 14, 2017 #4


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    Those descriptions are more like Humanities than Art. Better, and REAL Art choices could be conventional Photograph or something that either IS or includes perspective drawing. Either or both of these would be useful or at least relevant to science.
  6. Apr 14, 2017 #5
    They consider Arts options as humanities, social sciences, fine arts and language arts. Somewhat misleading, I know.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  7. Apr 14, 2017 #6

    Stephen Tashi

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    If you can't take a logic course, consider a Music Theory course if you don't mind a course that's as hard as a math class.
  8. Apr 15, 2017 #7
    Hmm. You can even take a general art history class. Scored me a few gf's. I learned what a Monet and Las Meninas (Deigo Velazquez painting). It is always good to learn things different from the usual, pie=, E=mc^2, Capacitors etc... Never know when this non scientific stuff will come in handy.
  9. Apr 15, 2017 #8
    Depends on how many "Arts" courses you need to take. My bachelor's program in physics (at a US school) required eight semesters of "Humanities" courses. I wouldn't take easy throwaway courses just to fulfill the requirements. Here are courses that provide valuable skills and insights; listed in order of priority.

    (a) Writing. Take writing courses of all flavors. Writing has fallen out of favor with recent generations that tweet and text and depend on spell check and grammar check. But the ability to write well, for different audiences, is still a critical skill.

    (b) Foreign languages. Give you an advantage in our global economy.

    (c) Philosophy. Logic and argument are critical skills. Philosophy of science provides valuable insights directly relevant to your major.

    (d) History. History of science and engineering provides valuable insights directly relevant to your major.
  10. Apr 15, 2017 #9
    The U of A honors degree requires 6 courses in the humanities, social sciences, fine arts or language arts, but classify all of them as "Arts options". I find history quite interesting, so that's why I'm leaning more towards that subject, but I do agree that writing is extremely important. Will my writing skills hold me back if I choose to take my options in history (and perhaps a few in philosophy) or do you think I'd be alright? I've always had good grades in English classes (97 and 98 in my grade 12 courses) but I don't find them particularly interesting, and would prefer to stay away from them in university if possible.
  11. Apr 16, 2017 #10
    Not taking writing courses won't hold you back; but taking writing courses will provide you with an extra edge. Learning to write well depends on having stern critics who provide detailed analyses of your work. You are likely to find such critics in courses expressly directed towards writing, and, in other courses, such as logic. In courses such as history, however, you'll need to luck out in getting professors who require many written assignments and who provide critical feedback.
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