Many UCs offer a small number of unique classes that focus on specific and unconventional subject areas. Many argue that these classes prove to be of no real use after graduation.
These classes, appropriately and often called “boutique classes,” are quite popular among students here at UC Davis — and they should be.
We’ve all heard of classes like tractor driving, beer brewing, gardening and mushrooms, mold and society (who doesn’t want to learn about the exciting world of fungi?!). Most, if not all, students enrolled in these classes are not taking these classes to fulfill some sort of major requirement but because these classes are just plain awesome.
Clearly, none of the undergraduate students here are attending a vocational school with specialized classes of the same topic. Why not use this time to hone our mechanical skills or learn about a random subject like “The Simpsons” in depth?
UC Davis encourages students to explore subjects that are not normally required for their majors. This is a beautiful thing — we’re in higher academia because we believe in learning for the sake of learning, not for a monetary end result. For example, students are invited to create their own special-interest classes as well. So if you’re itching to bring the exciting world of hairless cats or seahorse reproduction to your fellow students, you are welcome to do so.
We say keep the boutiques coming. You never know if you will graduate to work as a cartoonist for “The Simpsons” or become the primary tractor operator on your family farm. Everyone needs a class worth talking about that they look forward to attending weekly, in between copious amounts of biostatistical organimicrogeochemistry homework.