7 Most Interesting Courses on iTunes U

These iTunes U courses aren’t like your typical freshman lit class.

By Christopher Geno

Even though college is a time to try new things, you’ll still probably have to take some required classes that might not be that interesting. By the time you declare a major, your schedule could be planned all the way to graduation!

Interesting or unique courses are fun, but they aren’t as helpful as more traditional topics if you’re using iTunes U to help you study in college.

To combat these stale schedules, and to further find out which subjects you like and which you hate, try these offbeat and intriguing iTunes U courses and explore what massive open online courses have to offer.

1. Orbital Debris Management & Risk Mitigation

Did you know there’s an awful lot of junk in space just floating around the Earth? Well this class by the NASA Academy of Program/ Project and Engineering Leadership is all about how we avoid hitting that junk when we send things to space.

It turns out that this is a very important part of NASA space missions, and the class focuses on collision risks, management and practices for future space sustainability.

2. Death

Even though a class called Death sounds like the ultimate downer, it’s one of the most popular courses on iTunes U. Death, a philosophy course taught by a Yale University professor discusses existence, the soul, immortality, personal identity and societal attitude toward our own mortality.

3. Exploring the Geometry of Form

This isn’t your average math class. It’s a collection of artists, mathematicians, scientists and architects each giving talks on how math shapes everything around us including “underwater ecosystems, medieval Moorish castles, deep space and more.” When was the last time you heard all of these things in the same sentence?

4. The Science Behind the Bike

If you’re interested in the sport of cycling, you’ll be fascinated by The Science Behind the Bike on iTunes U. This course offers conversations with Olympic and Paralympic gold-medalists in cycling. Learn about the forces that drag us down in a wind tunnel, the technology of bikes and even the physiological phenomena that occur to the human body when riding a bicycle.

5. Creative Writing: A Master Class

It’s not necessarily the subject matter, but the content of this class that makes it truly unique. Creative Writing: A Master Class is a set of over 30 conversations and interviews including video with critically acclaimed and award winning novelists, poets, songwriters and other creative writers on their habits, methods, and struggles with writing.


6. Topics in String Theory

One of the craziest topics in physics and a radical way to view the universe, string theory attempts to reconcile what we know today about quantum mechanics with general relativity. Topics in String Theory, by a professor at Stanford University, discusses how string theory relates to the discovery and understanding of black holes, cosmology and the entire universe.

7. Music and the Brain

Humans have loved music since the beginning of time, but did you know it can actually shape our brain? Another Stanford University course, Music and the Brain is a symposium of scholars and researchers on the many ways that music affects our brain.

Quick Tips

  • Do you have a specific interest? You can separate classes by educational field and also browse featured collections in the search bar.
  • Interesting or unique courses are fun, but they aren’t as helpful as more traditional topics if you’re using iTunes U to help you study in college.
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