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The List

Coolest Classes at Carthage

10 classes you didn’t know you could take at Carthage

College is the time to explore all of your interests — and that doesn’t stop at clubs, sports, and activities! At Carthage, you can take classes that you might not have known existed. Whether you want to learn about pirates in the Caribbean, how to fly a plane, or tap dancing, Carthage has you covered. Here is a list of 10 of the coolest classes offered at Carthage.

1. Modern Caribbean: From Pirates to the Cuban Missile Crisis

J-term trip to NormandyIn Modern Caribbean: From Pirates to the Cuban Missile Crisis, you will study all that the Caribbean region of the world has to offer by taking a close look at pirates, European conquest, revolutions, and political hegemony. You’ll come out of this class with a greater understanding of Caribbean history as well as a broader sense of where it fits into the global stage. This class is for anyone interested in learning about the captivating history of the Caribbean and its place in history!

Professor Stephanie Mitchell teaches a class on the Caribbean, and the entire first half of the semester is focused on pirates. This was my favorite class because it was the first class that I took by choice that I thought was interesting and loved attending.” — Rebecca Rankins ’19, political science and criminal justice major



2. Understandings of Love

Understandings of Love takes a comprehensive view of understandings, expressions, and failures of love through contemporary experiences and through sacred scriptures in Christian, Jewish, and Muslim traditions. Throughout this religion class, you will study the dynamics of romance, intimacy, and disciplined love with the goal of observing the difference between romantic love and intervention to care for another. For anyone looking to learn more about how to show and see love in the world, this class is for you. 


3. Applied Dance: Tap I

A tap dance performance in a Carthage dance showApplied Dance: Tap I (introduction to tap dance) is for everyone and anyone who wants to expand their horizons and learn a new skill. No experience or knowledge of dance is required to sign up — all you need is a positive attitude and a curiosity for movement. Better yet, Tap I is a physical education (PE) course and can be used to fulfill the general education requirement in a fun and pressure-free space.  

“I am in Tap this semester, and even though I had never taken a Tap class in college before, it has got to be one of the highlights of my week. The technical movement challenges, exhilarating tap combos, and lessons on rich tap history make for a thriving, encouraging class community.” — Serena Richardson ’24, undeclared major 



4. Elite Deviance

Have you ever wondered how top-level businesses get away with breaking the law? In Elite Deviance, you will have the opportunity to use sociology to answer that question by studying crime at the top level of business and politics. You’ll learn about insider trading, political corruption, and corporate harm on the micro and macro scales. Not only will you get to look at some of the most scandalous crimes at the top levels of the American business system, but you will learn about the results, side effects, and unexpected outcomes in the political, social, and historical context. 


5. Emergency Medical Response

Athletic trainer classEmergency Medical Response is designed to give you the skills necessary to work as an Emergency Medical Responder (EMR). Emergency Medical Response will give you the practical skills to assist an injured person until more advanced medical help is available. This exercise and sport science class is applicable to everyone, and it will give you the opportunity to become First Responder and CPR certified.

“I have taken a lot of really interesting courses at Carthage, but the coolest was Emergency Medical Response with Professor Jake Dinauer. It is a super fun, hands-on class that gives you the opportunity to become First Responder and CPR certified.” — Hannah Midlock ’22, athletic training major



6. Issues of Living and Dying

Death isn’t something that most students think they will study in college, but Issues of Living and Dying will give you the opportunity to think about death and life in a holistic and logical way. In this class, you will focus on issues such as definitions of death, views of suffering, and the grief process. You’ll be pushed to come to your own conclusion as to how death should be viewed, and you can be assured that you will come out of Issues of Living and Dying with a new perspective on life.  

“Issues of Living and Dying with Professor David Duncan was by far my favorite class to take. I took it over J-Term 2019 and spent the semester opening my mind to the morbid, yet important topics of death and the afterlife. It was a tough course, with reading books and writing essays daily. Yet it was worth it for the three-hour discussions in class that Prof. Duncan would conduct. I left the class more grateful for life and more mindful of death and the grief of others.” — Alanna Sulivan ’21neuroscience major


7. Costume Design

Costume Design classCostume Design is for students interested in learning about theatre from a different perspective — the costume design one! You will get to read and analyze plays through a costume design lens and work on your drawing and rendering skills. You will even have the opportunity to design a project that can be entered in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s design competition, a competition Carthage has participated in for several years. Read about Carthage’s most recent KCACTF recognitions

“The class environment is phenomenal. The amount of fun we have, the creative expression, and the challenges we are presented with constantly have me excited to go back.” — Joshua Maloney ’20, theatre major 



8. Christians and Muslims: Conflict vs. Dialogue

Christians and Muslims: Conflict vs. Dialogue is for anyone who is interested in learning more about the current social dynamics in religion around the world. Throughout this class, you will learn about the history of Christian and Muslim interaction and the lesser-known similarities between the two faiths. Whether you identify as Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or Atheist, the goal of this class is to encourage a broader understanding of the two communities’ current relationships and to facilitate Christian-Muslim dialogue.


9. Introduction to Aviation

Introduction to Aviation classAre you interested in aviation? Are you considering obtaining a private pilot license? Introduction to Aviation covers the vast area of flight with an emphasis on airplanes, airspace regulations, and the physiology behind flight. This course is taught by Professor Walter Smith who is a certificated Federal Aviation Administration flight instructor. Prof. Smith will provide an endorsement to take the FAA Private Pilot written exam to anyone who passes the course final exam with the FAA-designated minimum score.

“During my freshman year J-Term, Carthage offered this unique course, Introduction to Aviation, which allowed myself and fellow peers to take the initial steps in obtaining a pilot’s license. Prof. Smith’s enthusiasm for the subject makes the learning process much easier and enjoyable for all students.” — Levi Latoz ’20, international political economy major


10. Wood Sculpture 

Wood scuptingIn Wood Sculpture, you’ll get to use power tools, sculpting tools, and your bare hands to build a sculpture that is purely yours! Learn the different techniques of this art form and use different types of wood to determine your favorite type of sculpting. Get out your hardhats and gloves, and get ready to build your own wood sculpture!

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $25,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked in the Top 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …

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