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Tough Love

12 Courses Worth the Work

We asked Carthage students: “What’s been your toughest class?” Here are 12 courses that are tough in a good way.

Toughest Classes: Psychology

1. Cognitive Psychology

(PYC 2300)
“The toughest class I have had at Carthage so far is Cognitive Psychology (PYC 2300). This class is very interesting, but it is forcing me to apply what I know to situations instead of just memorizing the information.”
— Mackenzie Counard ’20, neuroscience and psychology major

Learn more about studying psychology at Carthage

2. Financial Management 

(FIN 3210)
“It was Financial Management (FIN 3210). This class introduces students to a wide range of tools used in the analysis of different financial assets. At first it can be seen as overbearing from the amount of material covered, but going to class and studying keeps everyone on track to conquer the course.” — Grant Dunham ’19, finance major

Visit the Accounting and Finance Department website

3. Understandings of Religion

(REL 1000)
Understandings of Religion (REL 1000) has been my toughest class so far. My faith and what I believe was challenged in ways that I did not expect. While learning about other religions and what they believed, I found it more important for me to know what I believed and why I believed it. I remember asking a professor if teaching other religions ever challenged what they believed; their answer was yes. At the end, it was a good challenge because it made me really evaluate myself.” — Shawnel Smith ’18, marketing and management major

See a list of courses offered by the Religion Department

4. Organic Chemistry

(CHEM 2070)
“The hardest course I’ve had at Carthage has been Organic Chemistry (CHEM 2070). That isn’t to say I disliked the course! Quite the contrary, in fact. This was definitely a runner-up in my favorite courses I’ve taken because it has really interesting course material that integrates problem-solving into the curriculum. This course was challenging for me as it forced me to learn to be adaptive in learning. It was a good experience overall, though.” — Jo Dienst ’19, psychology and pre-health major

Learn more about studying chemistry at Carthage

5. Behavioral Research Statistics 

(SSC 2330)
“The toughest class I have taken has been Behavioral Research Statistics (SSC 2330). I took this class my freshman year and had trouble grasping some of the concepts. I succeeded in the class because of all the extra work I put in outside of the classroom. I would recommend this approach to anyone struggling in a course.” — Katelyn Switzer ’19 marketing major

Learn more about the Marketing and Management Department

6. Applied Statistics for Health and Human Services 

(SWK 2330)
“I think the class that has been the toughest for me has been my statistics class, as I am not the best with reading and analyzing data. However, Professor Tian Tian taught this class in such an amazing way that I feel I can interpret and understand data, should I need to utilize that information in the future.”— Nicole Koerth ’19, social work major

Learn more about studying social work at Carthage

7. Foundations of American Thought

(GFW 2310)
“The toughest class at Carthage so far has been my Foundations of American Thought (GFW 2310) class. It is tough because politics are not my strong suit. However, the class is always filled with interesting and controversial discussion.” — Ryen Cunningham ’20, great ideas and communications major
Learn more about studying great ideas at Carthage

 

Toughest Classes: Physics

8. J-Term: Physics for Future Presidents 

(PHY 1000)
“My toughest class so far has been Physics for Future Presidents (PHY 1000). This course was challenging for everyone, but rewarding! We learned about physics in more practical ways than one would in a typical physics course. This class might have been more tough because it was during J-Term so it was fast-paced. It also involved some math, which I am not fond of, but I’m glad I took it.”
— Sidney Burke ’19, psychology major

Learn more about physics art at Carthage


9. The Intellectual History of Western Heritage I

(COR 1100)
Every Carthage student takes this freshman-year seminar. “When it comes to old classic literature, I am not the first one to dive into a book head-first. Even though I struggled a bit in class, my professor helped me understand my problems which, in turn, allowed me to fully understand the class material.” Justice Good ’18, theatre performance and music theatre major

What should you expect in Western Heritage? Read this.

10. Historical Methods 

(HIS 2200)
“That class would be the Potato Famine class (Historical Methods HIS 2200) offered by Professor John Leazer. It was a class that focused on the history of Ireland and its interactions with the world before, during, and after the famine. It was a class that was based in nearly 100 pages of readings a day about a dense and politically hot topic that we would then discuss in class. By the end of that class I had written a nearly 20 page paper but am glad for it, it was great practice for my upcoming thesis.”Gabrielle Swangstue ’18, Japanese and Asian studies major

See what history courses are offered at Carthage

11. The music course Aural Skills

(MUS 1020)
“The toughest class I have taken at Carthage so far has been Aural Skills (MUS 1020). Although I come from a musical background, to be able to hear a melody and write it out on paper was a shocking challenge. However, I am a much better musician because of it.”  Lydia Haasl ’20, music theatre and theatre performance major

Learn more about studying music at Carthage

12. Calculus II

(MTH 1220)
“My toughest class at Carthage so far was Calculus II with Professor Sara Jensen. She really pushes you as a student to achieve your best and work your hardest. It was a tough class but I really felt like I learned a lot from her.” — Alexandria Wheeler ’21, mathematics major
 
Learn more about studying mathematics at Carthage

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2019), 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.

    • 96% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 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. 95% 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 been named a top producer of Fulbright Fellows three years running: 2015-2016, 2016-2017, and 2017-2018. 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 archaeology 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 $1.5 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 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. 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 the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, 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 120 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 No. 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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