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Our Ears' Favorite Classes

Hey Jumbos!

I hope that everyone is having a good spring semester and that you’re enjoying your classes! For this blog, I wanted to talk a little bit about some of the exciting classes Tufts offers. Whether you are a first-year exploring what kind of classes or majors interest you or an upperclassman trying to figure out which elective you should take for your major, I wanted to compile a list of classes that interested our Ears. I asked our Ears what their favorite classes were that they have taken thus far while being at Tufts, and here is what they said. Please keep in mind that this list is HEAVILY psych / life science oriented (who would have thought that Ears would be interested in the human mind?).

  1. “I’m a freshman and my favorite class that I’ve taken so far has been Social Psychology. As an extrovert, I’ve loved getting to learn about what steers people’s behavior in social situations and what motivates us to help each other. My favorite part of lectures is watching clips from the Office and analyzing them from a psychological perspective. This class has fueled my interest in psych and made me excited to become more involved with the department!”

  2. “My favorite class I’ve taken was Psych Eval & Treatment with Professor Queen. I took the class sophomore spring, and I really enjoyed it because it was directly applicable to what I want to do in the future. We did two projects that were basically mock clinical interviews, so it was cool to see what these are like and actually try my hand at doing a few. I’m a clinical psychology major so of course this was right up my alley, but even if you aren’t interested in this field I’d still recommend! Professor Queen is amazing and the content is super engaging.”

  3. “My favorite class at Tufts has been a psychology seminar called Emotions in Social Life that I took as a junior. I learned about how different emotions influence and arise from different social situations like good relationships, ostracism, comparison, etc. It’s so cool to understand how different emotions are distinctly related to different social situations. So so interesting!”

  4. “My favorite class has been Psych Eval & Treatment which I took as a sophomore. As a clinical psych major this class gave me so much insight into what it might be like to be a therapist and Professor Queen was super engaging and made the class incredible”

  5. “My favorite course was a seminar in clinical psych that I took during my junior fall bc it gave a really in-depth review of different sectors of clinical psych. It also explored a lot of different themes that aren’t always naturally discussed in clinical psych and my major is clinical psych”

  6. “One of my favorite classes at tufts has been Intro to Cognitive Brain Sciences with Professor Patel. I took it my sophomore year originally just to get a natural sciences credit, but ended up loving it so much that I declared a psych major! Professor Patel is a fantastic lecturer and the discussion posts make it easy to engage with whatever you find most interesting”

  7. “I really love Psych Eval & Treatment, it’s literally a class on how to be a therapist and it feels kind of surreal for my homework and stuff to just be reading about therapeutic practices and writing clinical assessments and things - I’m just excited after finally getting here since there were a couple prerequisites (I'm a clinical psych major so this is a cornerstone for the major)”

  8. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity with Prof. Adrien Cruz (1 semester first year) is about the origins of what makes us identify as our race/ethnicity and how it impacts how people maneuver. This class has made me completely change my view of how I see and identify myself. The coursework was not just some chore, but readings and assignments I looked forward to. Lectures with Professor Cruz were extremely engaging and his passion for the subject solidified each class why I’d enjoyed it so much. Honestly, no matter who you are or what background you come from, everybody will 100% take something away from this class”

  9. “My favorite class was Intro to Psych. The teachers were super engaging and they kept the class interesting. They brought in guest speakers too”

  10. “My favorite class I've ever taken was History of African American Music taught by Professor Stephan Pennington. I took it my first semester of freshman year and it was all about the historical context of African music stemming back to the transatlantic slave trade, to modern music trends today in America. It was a full analysis of Black music and how it transformed and shaped almost every musical genre in America while also playing against a backdrop of racial discrimination and civil rights through the times. While my prospective major is Psychology, this topic still interested me very much as music is one of my passions, and to see my own people's history and how it intertwined with the historical development of America through a musical lens was very enlightening and inspiring”

  11. “My favorite class was Psychopathology (PSY 12). This class sparked my interest in the Clinical Psychology major. I would definitely recommend taking this class if you are trying to figure out what type of psychology to major in/if you think you might be interested in how to treat mental disorders”

  12. “My favorite class at Tufts is Biological Anthropology. I took it my very first semester, and it was incredibly interesting. The class tracks primate culture, hominin evolution, and the unique traits of humanity that have allowed us to develop to this point. Not sure if the essay-based exams have changed at all since I took the class during COVID, but I genuinely enjoyed writing those essays. The best thing about the class was making Tinder bios for australopiths and being able to identify skulls”

  13. Medical Anthropology (ANTH148) was one of those classes that really challenged and changed my worldview. A large argument in the field is this: the way we talk about health and illness and the ways we treat different forms of suffering are not universal and instead deeply situated in a cultural context. I loved this class for being able to engage with medicine on a structural level while also highlighting the plurality of how differently people might engage with our historical/current institutions and practices. I would recommend it for anyone who’s interested in talking about how we approach health, disease, and our medical system! The readings are not easy and the lectures can be dense, but you really get as much as you put into the class”

  14. “My favorite class was Biological Bases of Psychopathology. I took it fall of my senior semester with Mike Vanelzakker. I went into the class with bare-bones neuroscience knowledge (literally just psych 1) and I was really nervous going into it because I didn’t have that much experience but he does such a good job of challenging you to learn the circuitry while also giving you the opportunity to do well in the class. the exams have no surprises and he will tell you the general topics. you read articles on the cutting edge of our understanding of neuroscience and mental disorders and learn to actually understand them. I am so glad I took that class and highly recommend it to anyone whether you don’t have the best knowledge of neuroscience or you know a ton because you will learn more!”

  15. “A class I really liked was Inquiry and Analysis (you have to be a child studies major to take it & I think it’s best to take as a junior). It was really cool because you had the opportunity to really explore any topic of interest and reevaluate your own thought process in a way most other classes don’t encourage. I’ll also throw out there that the ASL classes are incredible for any major - I started freshman year but there’s a really solid mix of years in those classes”

  16. “One of my favorite classes I have taken so far was Healthcare in America taught by Professor Amy Lischko (CH 0002), which I took during my sophomore fall. The class goes into detail about our healthcare system and how it has changed over time, especially since the introduction of the Afordable Care Act, as well as its pitfalls and areas for growth (theres definitely a lot). I think anyone who is interested in going into medicine (I’m premed) should take this class because its such an important part of healthcare and theres so much that people don’t know about it. I learned a lot, and after taking this class I’m definitely conflicted about doing specialized medicine after seeing the great shortage of primary care physicians”

  17. “My favorite class that I've taken at Tufts is Religion and Politics in American History. Professor Curtis does an exceptional job of explaining important historical context and then giving students a taste of many different social issues throughout time. The assignments and built-in resources force you to question the logical grounds of primary sources and even dive into your own perspective on critical issues”

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