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The Liberal Arts at Carthage

Best Class Outside My Major

We asked current students: What’s the best class you’ve taken outside your major?

Ryan Mahoney ’18

His major: Computer Science
The class: “My favorite class outside my major was The Problem with Progress (Sociology Honors course). The class taught me how to argue constructively and understand the different perspectives people take on a plethora of issues.”
Learn more about the Carthage Honors Program

“The class taught me how to argue constructively
and understand the different perspectives
people take on a plethora of issues.”

Gina Sipka ’17

Her majors: Studio Art and Graphic Design
The class: “The best class I took outside my majors was Introduction to Sociology. It was very interesting to learn how our behaviors and values are shaped through the social structures that are around us. The course stressed the importance of social class, race, and gender inequalities that are seen within our community and throughout the world. Introduction to Sociology taught me a great amount of valuable information that I can apply beyond the classroom and in my everyday life.”
See all the Sociology courses taught at Carthage

“The course stressed the importance of social class,
race, and gender inequalities that are seen within
our community and throughout the world.”

Madeline Gronset ’17

Her major: Communication
The class: “My favorite class I took outside my major was the J-Term study tour course Biology and Geography of Nicaragua (BIO/GEO 675). I got to learn about Nicaragua before going there to explore and try to improve their water system. It was an amazing class that put the skills I learned in the classroom into action. It was a perfect hands-on experience. I loved it so much!”
Learn more about J-Term at Carthage

Taylor Tibbs ’16

Her major: Biology
The class: “Introduction to Linguistics, an experimental J-Term course taught by Professor Carol Sabbar, was by far the most interesting class I took outside my major at Carthage. I have studied German for seven years, taken a few courses in Chinese, and have always enjoyed learning new words in other languages. During the course, we explored the sentence structures of multiple languages and compared and contrasted the differences and similarities between them. It was fascinating to be in one classroom with students from all different language backgrounds including Italian, Hindi, and Korean. We finished the course with a small feast in which everyone brought in delicious dishes from a particular culture/language background to share with the class. (I still get requests from class members for my German potato salad recipe.) It was a delightful experience.”
Learn more about Modern Languages at Carthage

“It was fascinating to be in one classroom
with students from all different language backgrounds
including Italian, Hindi, and Korean.”

Michael Meke ’19

His majors: Accounting and Geography
The class: “My favorite class outside of major was Spanish (SPN 1010) and it was worth it because a lot of people speak Spanish so it helps knowing some.”
Learn how to study a modern language at Carthage

Dexter Molinaro ’17

His major: Athletic Training
The class: “One of the best classes I attended outside of my major would have to be Sociology (SOC 1000). It was worth it because it taught me a lot about how we function and think as a society. It gave me a look inside why we are the way we are in a social setting, and how we change our behavior and personalities based on external factors.”
Learn more about the Athletic Training program

Isaac Leif ’19

His major: Communication
The class: “The best class I took outside my major was Western Heritage (COR 1100). I’m a big Western Heritage advocate. The fact that it’s a requirement is really part of what makes Carthage special. Every class would have great discussions about almost any topic. It furthered my ability to write and express my thoughts in conversation. It was also very open, so when writing a paper or making a presentation, I could focus on what I wanted to explore. Having a professor that pushes you to learn more about what you want to know is a great thing.”
Learn more about Western Heritage

“It furthered my ability to write and
express my thoughts in conversation.”

Bryce Withers ’17

His major: Graphic Design
The class: “The best class outside of my major that I have taken at Carthage is probably Sociology of Adventure taught by Prof. Stephen Lyng. It was a challenging class that involved a lot of reading and writing, and students were asked to produce and share original thoughts on existing content. I learned what the difference is between an ‘adrenaline rush’ activity and the aspects of sociology (economic, racial, societal, moral, and much more) that define an adventure for an individual based on their profile within those aspects. We studied some amazing stories that didn’t skip over the ugly details of what humans can deal with and how they react to adversity.”
Read more about Prof. Stephen Lyng

Torey Kervick ’17

Her majors: Screen Media (self-designed major) and Graphic Design
The class: “The best class I took outside of my majors was 19th Century American History. Prior to this class, I had zero interest in anything history related. But Prof. Eric Pullin kept me interested in what we were discussing every single class.”
See all the History courses taught at Carthage
Read more about Prof. Eric Pullin

Edward Pribyl ’17

His major: Business Management
The class: “I took [the J-Term course] Museum Studies my freshman year. It was a really cool class because it gave me the opportunity to go to a wide range of museums and compare them, and converse with other students about the topics on display at these museums.”

Learn more about J-Term at Carthage

Aidan Crosby ’18

His major: Communication
The class: “I took a J-Term course called The Fiction of Science Fiction that has to be my favorite non-major class I’ve taken yet at Carthage. We spent the class watching, reading, and dissecting a trove of science fiction film and literature, not to mention the writing intensive credit the course satisfied. It was definitely worth it.”
Read more about J-Term at Carthage

Jedidiah Barnes ’18

His major: Physics
The class: “The best class that I took so far was Western Heritage (COR 1100). The course really helps to unify the campus and also gives individuals background into the early days of enlightenment and philosophy.”
Learn more about Western Heritage

Brittney De Mik ’17

Her major: Graphic Design
The class: “History of Chicago and Milwaukee was my favorite non-major class. It was a very interesting class, and we took field trips to both Chicago and Milwaukee. I learned a lot and was able to compare the two cities.”
See all the History courses taught at Carthage

“I entered the class knowing next to nothing …
Now I have a much greater understanding of it
and feel better connected to the world.”

Jack Gardner Haggett ’17

His majors: Chemistry and Music
“My favorite class that I took was a Global Heritage course on Sikhism. I entered the class knowing next to nothing about the religion or the culture of its people, but now I have a much greater understanding of it and feel better connected to the world.”
Learn more about the Global Heritage requirement


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  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2017), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • Scheduled to open in fall 2018, a new residential tower will offer suite-style housing and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about The Tower

    • 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 wins, 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. 

    • As a freshman in the highly selective Honors Program, learn how to gain expertise in anything from music to forest ecology. After that, tackle a contemporary social, economic, or political problem. If you like, you can live on an Honors-only floor of a Carthage residence hall. 

    • In 2016 and 2017, Carthage was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to athletic training, neuroscience 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 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 our students receive financial aid, a hefty chunk of which is scholarships and grants — including $1.25 million annually from the Presidential Scholarship Competition and numerous Merit Scholarships. 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,” says biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 30 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 Chemistry Club, to Frisbee and Latin Belly Dancing. 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.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • 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. 11 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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