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Apr 04, 2017 09:23 AM EDT

Some courses, no matter how attentively students listen to the professor, are boring. These classes, though, are oftentimes unavoidable since they are prerequisites for another higher-level course.

On the other hand, there are courses that are fun. One of these is pop culture courses that focus on the body of work of artists as well as other popular material.

USA Today College shared pop culture courses in various colleges and universities in the country. These courses range from having students study "Hamilton" the musical in-depth to studying about Kendrick Lamar and Beyoncé.


This focuses on introductory courses in history. It is available at Northwestern University and is taught by Dr. Geraldo L Cadava as well as Dr. Caitlin Annette Fitz. It was intended for students to explore the life and times of Alexander Hamilton, "both the man and the musical."

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Matthew C. Rousu, professor of economics at Susquehanna University, also uses "Hamilton" the musical to teach economic concepts like income inequality and economic freedom or history. Lehigh University's Marilisa Jimenez Garcia also uses the material for her "Introduction to Latino/a Literature and Culture" course.

Kendrick Lamar

Last semester, Mark Laver, an assistant professor of music at Grinnell College, taught his first course on Kendrick Lamar. Students were asked to examine the relationships between the arts, activism and social justice. They also studied the relationship between hip hop and African American cultural memory, sound, cities, communities, authenticity, identity, performance, race, politics as well as music in the country.

Pop Culture Games

The University of Idaho has used pop culture games to get students more engaged and involved in class. It is a physical activity class that aims to teach students about leading active lifestyles, building teamwork and exploring their communities through games like "Pokémon GO" and "Humans vs. Zombies."

Fresno City College also used "Pokémon GO" for a physical education class. It has one unit of transferable credit. It promotes fitness through walking and playing the game.

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