The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Classes you won't forget at UMass Amherst

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Image of University of Massachusetts campus with text reading: Classes you won't forget at UMass Amherst

The University of Massachusetts Amherst offers hundreds of different engaging and thought-provoking courses every single semester. From art history, to food science, or archaeology, UMass Amherst really does have everything. I asked a variety of students at UMass Amherst to share a class they will never forget and these are some of the answers:

Ideas That Change The World  HONORS 201H

This honors seminar is required for all first-year Commonwealth Honors College students. Operations and information management major George Robert, describes to us his time in a section of the course with professor Robert Dow, and why he will never forget this course:

“The class takes a deep dive into some moments in history that acted as a paradigm shift for our society through the lens of great works of literature, film, and visual arts, such as Citizen Kane, The Old Man and the Sea, and 12 Angry Men. Not to mention, I could listen to professor Dow all day; a brilliant mind with an eloquent way of teaching that I found to be quite pleasant.”

Survey: Renaissance - Modern Art  ART-HIST 110

Christina Cutler, a kinesiology major tells us about her time in Art History, which really struck her as class she will never forget: 

“I will never forget this class because as a kinesiology major, I rarely have the opportunity to learn about things other than science. I loved the teachers, TA’s, and field trips! The course was extremely interactive as we got to go to multiple museums throughout the semester. I went into the class knowing nothing about art, and left with so much knowledge on the topic. When I watch Jeopardy! and they have art categories, I know the answers!”

Hip-Hop Cultures  ANTHRO 224 

Did you know we offer a course on hip-hop cultures? It is located in the anthropology department and student Olivia Palmer, discusses the class taught by professor Whitney Battle-Baptiste or Dr. BB:

“Hip-Hop Cultures was the most incredible, most eye-opening class I ever had the pleasure of being in. Dr. Battle-Baptiste cared about the bigger picture rather than grades, and truly wanted every one of her students to succeed. Her lectures were raw, authentic, interesting and extremely informative. Her ability to connect hip-hop cultures to society as a whole in the past and present resulted in a perspective on the world that I will continue to hold for the rest of my life. Take this class!!!!”

Literature of Music  MUSIC 101

Sarah Kaunfer was the only non-music major in this course with professor Emiliano Ricciardi:

“The class was able to synthesize music history, style, technique, and theory, in a comprehensible and enjoyable way. We discussed a wide range of composers and pieces, from the church’s Gregorian chants all the way back in the 800s to Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story in the 1950s. Dr. Ricciardi also let me work on an independent study where I transcribed an ancient madrigal into modern-day notation. Dr. Ricciardi was an incredible teacher and the class was truly amazing.”

Abnormal Psychology  PSYCH 380

Here’s why psychology major Leslie Marsh won’t forget this course, taught by professor Richard Halgin:

“I learned so much and his course sparked a deep interest in this branch of psychology for me. I loved going to lectures because I knew the stories he would tell would allow me to gain so many new insights that couldn't be gained from the textbook. I never felt bored during his class, especially because the way he would tell the stories really drew everyone in. His lectures were so captivating, you could hear a pin drop. Dr. Halgin is a unique professor who sincerely cares about each one of his students (all 300 of us) and he ensured our class was a safe space to talk about mental illness. I came out of each lecture feeling moved by the true stories we learned about and intrigued to learn more about the topics we were discussing.”

World Food Habits  FOOD-SCI 102

Aislinn Guinee, a food science major, tells us why she won’t forget this class:

“This class was so interesting and fun. It is not a gen-ed, but would be a great class for anyone looking to fill a requirement. The professor is amazing and he makes you want to come to class. I was the only food science major in the class but everyone did really well. Definitely recommend if you need a class to ease into college or you’re a senior and need a few more credits!”

Intro to Classical Archaeology  Classics 103

UMass student Jackie O’Connor ended up changing her major after taking this course with professor Anthony Tuck, so it will most definitely be a class she will never forget, here’s why:

“Professor Tuck was really amazing not only with the content of the course but also he was really engaging and funny. I took it as a Gen-ed but ended up changing my major because his class made me realize how interested I am in classical archaeology. I tell everyone to take his Classics 103 course if they can!”



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Text reading: A Letter to my High School Self, images of Maddie graduating high school, on campus at the University of Massachusetts, and on an athletic field

Dear Maddie,

Hey me my senior year of high school, I’m writing to you three years later as a junior in college! I know you’re probably super stressed right now from juggling school, extracurriculars and choosing where to go to college but I hope that by writing you this letter, as a junior in college now, I could ease your stress a little and give you a few tips.