The 7 Best Natural Science Courses to Take (If You’re Not A ‘Science Person’)

By Maryam Masood November 26, 2019
Something LSA

It’s that time of year again…course registration! As a sophomore in LSA interested in social sciences and the humanities, I realized I’ve flown through three semesters and avoided taking a natural science course. For those who are unfamiliar, LSA requires students to take a minimum of seven credits in natural science (with a total area distribution requirement of 30 credits. For the full details, click here).

As the semester is coming to a close, I figured I should start thinking about completing my distribution. So, I asked around and discovered seven top choices for natural science courses from people who don’t consider themselves a “science person.”

You can browse through the LSA Course Guide to get more detailed information, but below is a general summary of each of the recommendations I received from U-M students.

PSYCH 112 – Introduction to Psychology as a Natural Science

Credits: 4

Why You Should Take It: Probably the most common recommendation I was given, but I included it for those who haven’t heard about the course. It’ll knock four out of seven of LSA’s required natural science distribution credits and the workload is fair.

ENVIRON 201 – Ecological Issues

Credits: 4

Why You Should Take It: Another classic favorite for non-science people, this course would be good for anyone interested in environmental issues, specifically the use of natural resources.


UC 252 – Sophomore Natural Science Seminar

Credits: 4

Why You Should Take It: If you’re looking for a four credit NS course, but want to avoid a big lecture hall, this seminar is a great option if you’re a freshman or sophomore and interested in medicine, but not necessarily pre-med.

CLIMATE 105 - Our Changing Atmosphere

Credits: 3

Why You Should Take It: This would also be a good course for anyone interested in environmental issues, but with a focus on modern climate change. The class is also the perfect size between a large lecture hall and a small classroom with a cap of about 60 students.


BIOLOGY 107 - Evolution of Life

Credits: 3

Why You Should Take It: An interesting biology course with a reasonable workload. As it meets for one hour, three times a week, this course may appeal to freshmen who are used to high school class blocks or anyone with a short attention span.

EARTH 103 - Dinosaurs and Other Failures

Credits: 1

Why You Should Take It: A minicourse about evolutionary history (and dinosaurs!). Minicourses like these are ideal for anyone who wants to explore a major without the time commitment of a three or four credit course.

ASTRO 107 – The Dark Side of the Universe

Credits: 1

Why You Should Take It: It’s a minicourse about black holes – how cool does that sound? But if black holes don’t interest you, there are eight other astro courses offered winter semester that have no enforced prerequisites and range from one-four credits.

I hope that this list was helpful for anyone looking to register for a natural science course next semester, or for any prospective students who aren’t planning to be science majors. As long as you pick the right courses, fulfilling your natural science distribution requirement does not have to be annoying or difficult to complete. Happy registration, Wolverines!


Maryam Masood

Maryam Masood is a junior in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts majoring in Organizational Studies with a minor in Spanish. During the year, she keeps busy as a student employee for CommonGround and Treasurer for the Michigan Refugee Assistance Program. Outside of class and work, she enjoys to travel, procrastinating at the CCRB, and is most likely watching Kim's Convenience or Criminal Minds on Netflix.