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Unique Classes Offered at SUNY Schools This Fall

students sitting outside in forest on rock wall listening to a female teacher.

Have you ever discussed methods of contacting alien life forms before? Shot a music video for a local band? Learned about the particulars of craft beer?

Even if you have done all of these things, you likely haven’t done so in an academic setting. But this semester at SUNY schools all over the state, that’s exactly what some students will be learning about and completing projects on this semester at SUNY schools across New York State.

SUNY has many top-notch academic programs, and each campus has something unique to offer. These innovative classes are not just a fun way to spice up your semester—they are opportunities to learn about a subject in a new and exciting way, and in many cases, do hands-on work. If your school is on this list, be sure to keep your schedule open for these one-of-a-kind classes.


SUNY Fredonia | COMM 257: Video Games: Their Evolution and Impact

What if I told you you could take a class where playing Pac-Man and Super Mario was a required assignment? Well, in Fredonia’s Communication 257 class, you can—while also studying the history of video games and their contributions to culture.

Niagara County Community College | BRW 101: Introduction to Craft Brewing

Lovers of craft beer know well that it’s of a different caliber than mass-produced mainstream beer, but this class will teach students just what it is that makes craft beer special. Other classes in Niagara’s Brewery Operations program include Craft Beer Chemistry (introductory chemistry classes are also required for the program) and Sensory Evaluation of Beer (bet you’ve never drunk a beer in class before).

SUNY ESF | EFB 411: Research Methods: Understanding the Adirondack Ecosystem

In Environmental and Forest Biology 411, the outdoors are your classroom. Students in this hands-on class at ESF’s Newcomb campus get to take weekly field trips into Adirondack Park to study its ecosystem, learning about biodiversity, invasive species, and humanity’s environmental footprint on this magnificent and expansive state park.

New Paltz | PHY 344: Extraterrestrial Life

Cue X-Files theme music. Ok, so you may not get to actually investigate space aliens in this physics and astronomy class at New Paltz, but you definitely will discuss possible techniques for communication with “other intelligences” and learn about the origin of life in our solar system.

SUNY Geneseo | INTD 105: Secrets & Secret Codes

Here’s a class is for all those who enjoyed The Imitation Game, or think of themselves as a regular Sherlock Holmes or Nancy Drew. INTD 105 is required for all Geneseo students, but this topic in the freshman writing seminar sounds like a particularly interesting gen-ed. Students will study codes and code-breakers from both fiction and history, and discuss the ethicality of keeping and revealing secrets.

Binghamton University | MDVL 280G: Queer Knights & Sexy Nuns

The title of this class is probably not a phrase you thought you’d ever read. Medieval Studies 280G at Binghamton presents a new way of studying the history and literature of the Middle Ages by incorporating gender and sexuality studies into examinations of medieval texts.

Stony Brook | CSE 352: Artificial Intelligence

Google researcher and developer Jeff Dean says machines may achieve true artificial intelligence in as little as fifteen years—maybe this class at Stony Brook could help computer science majors make that happen. Though the idea of sentient computers is a little creepy, studying what makes AI programs that play games, solve problems and prove theorems tick does sound interesting.

SUNY Purchase | CIN 2200: Music Video and Popular Culture

Not only will students in Cinema Studies 2200 watch and learn about music videos, what makes them successful, and their influence on pop culture, they’ll also be required to shoot and produce a music video for a band on campus! How’s that for hands-on learning?

University at Albany | C-EHC 320: Psychology of Terrorism

UAlbany’s brand new College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity is kicking off its first semester with a range of interesting courses, and this is one of them. Needless to say, terrorism is widely covered in mainstream media, but is often a misunderstood phenomenon. This class studies the psychology behind acts of terror to better understand how to combat and protect against it.

Genesee Community College | PED193-L77: Principles of Fly Fishing

Teach a man to fish, and he can… do some neat things in a class at GCC. In the Principles of Fly Fishing, many aspects of fly fishing for all levels of experience will be covered. Students will learn about fish and their environment, along with how to cast for and capture salmon, trout and bass in a variety of settings, providing them with skills that will last a lifetime.

    Written by Jenna Colozza

    Jenna was a student assistant with the SUNY Office of New Media when an undergraduate student at SUNY Geneseo studying English literature.

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