The prestigious Carnegie Mellon University is offering courses this fall on a variety of pop culture mainstays including Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and Star Trek.
Carnegie Mellon University, known for its prestigious science and engineering programs, is offering a slate of pop culture classes this semester that might make some question its legacy.
The courses, which were highlighted this week by Campus Reform, aren’t created by Carnegie Mellon faculty members. Instead, they are created by students through a program called the Student College, which are both designed and taught by students.
“The Student College was established in 2001 to provide Carnegie Mellon students with the opportunity to share knowledge through educational, self-designed courses,” the university’s website reads. “Students can teach classes on any topic of their choice.”
The course on Harry Potter, which is entitled “Harry Potter & JK Rowling’s Wizarding World,” will cover everything from the original Harry Potter book series to the more recent Fantastic Beasts film series.
“Each week, well focus a discussion on a different aspect of the Harry Potter universe and the new expansions from JK Rowling. From the morality of horcruxes to why Hufflepuff isn’t all that bad, its a weekly dose of the series that we all grew up with,” the course description states. “Covers the Harry Potter books, their film adaptations, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and the Cursed Child play.”
“This course will focus primarily on the six Star Wars films and their impact on pop culture. In each class, we will discuss a particular topic relevant to the films,” another course description reads. “By the end of the course, students should have a good understanding of the Star Wars franchise and why it continues to impact people today.”
National Association of Scholars spokesman David Randall told Campus Reform that the “student-led” courses at Carnegie Mellon are a symptom of a larger problem in higher education.
“There is an extraordinary dumbing down of the curriculum and of expectations of students throughout America,” Randall said.