Six Summer Courses You Might Not Know About

Posted by Janet Nguyen on March 11, 2021

Academic Success | Student Life

Wow! It’s already March and spring is fast approaching. I am so excited for the greenery and sunshine to return! This also means it’s time to start thinking about summer school.

I know there are tons of ways to spend your summer, such as summer student employment or taking an internship (have you seen our post about LA&PS Opportunities?) or simply, relaxing with your friends and family. I usually end up taking courses over the summer because it’s a great way to get your credits in.

Of course, it’s work but it’s worthwhile, especially if you are doing a double major and your course load is a bit heavier, or if you simply want to keep the momentum from the school year going.

There are lots of advantages to taking a summer course:

  • You are able to complete three to nine credits in a short time
  • You can learn a topic in-depth over the summer
  • Your attention won’t be spread among more courses so you’ll really focus!
  • Good way of spending time during the pandemic… why not learn something?
  • Accelerate your degree – finish it early!
  • Less competition during enrolment

Make sure to check in with your academic advisor to ensure the courses you are enrolling in are the ones you need for your degree!

Concepts of Male and Female in the West

AP/HUMA 1950

A Man in a black suit pointing at the male and female symbols
Learn about the influences of gender on modern society

Gender is an aspect of our lives and society that influence everything we do. This course is a great option if you’d like to further dive into what Western concepts of the male and female are. Take this course for an examination of the origins of, and the interrelationships among, gender, male and female concepts and roles through myth, literature, art and artifacts from various Western cultures, past and present.

Buddhism and Asian Cultures 

AP/HUMA 1855 

Metal statues of Lord Buddha
Explore other religious cultures this summer!

Why not take this summer to explore Buddhism? This practice/philosophy/religion is making new waves in the modern era with a focus on mindfulness and meditation. This course introduces you to the diversity of Buddhist ideas and practices in Asia. Exploring Buddhism as a living tradition, the course focuses on the impact and interpretation of Buddhism in historical and contemporary cultures. The course develops a background in basic Buddhist philosophy in order to explore its broader cultural impact in literature, art, ritual, ethics, economics, social interaction and politics.

Understanding Food

SC/NATS 1560

A delicious platter of meat, bread and cheese with condiments, fruits and wine
Are you a foodie? There are courses for you too!

Who doesn’t love food? Why not take it a step further with this course and get a new perspective on something we all partake in – food! This course is a study of what food is, where it comes from and the roles various foods play in human nutrition and health. Topics include scientific and technological aspects of modern food production such as genetics, farming, fishing, and beverage industries.

Theories of Dinosaur Extinction

SC/NATS 1540

A dinosaur fossil
Fascinated with dinosaurs? Here’s your chance to learn about their extinction!

Remember being a kid and learning about dinosaurs? Well, you can get back to that excitement and wonder with this course that covers theories of their extinction. 65 million years ago, dinosaurs, one of the most prominent species on Earth, vanished suddenly. This course acquaints students with the more prominent of the theories used to explain this disappearance, including the evidence and objections relating to each.

Biodiversity and Conservation

SC/NATS 1940

A deer standing in a marsh
Love the planet and our biodiversity? This is the course for you!

This course will acquaint you with Earth’s rich species diversity. Topics include scientific developments in the classification of diversity, major groups of organisms, patterns of change in diversity over time including extinction, modern threats to biodiversity, and responses to such threats.

Rock and Popular Music

FA/MUSI 1530

An electric guitar with a sound box
Attention music lovers! Learn more about rock and popular music.

Take the summer to explore rock and popular music with this six-credit course. You will explore in-depth the range of Euro-American popular music as well as some styles of British popular music that have come into existence since the end of World War II. All styles and genres are studied from both a musicological and sociological perspective. The reading of the various texts (i.e., pieces of music) that make up the core content of the course are informed by such key issues as subculture, transculturation, political economy, the rise of the mass media (including music video), new technologies (including sampling), urbanization and gender. Particular attention is paid to the interplay of both black and white sacred and secular cultures that has so richly informed the development of much of this music. This course is designed for students not majoring or minoring in Music.

We hope this list provided you some ideas with courses for your summer semester. These courses are a great way to round out your university education and get instruction from experts in various fields.


Let us know in the comments below about your favourite courses or a course that you were surprised to find!

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Janet Nguyen
Janet Nguyen

Janet Nguyen is a third-year Creative Writing and Screenwriting double major at York University. She loves to spend time playing with her kitten, Bean; cook vegetarian food; read all kinds of books, play Animal Crossing, and of course, write. She hopes her blog posts can help students navigate their way through this school year!

See other posts by Janet Nguyen

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