Best Liberals to Take at Ryerson (According to Real Students)

When you come to Ryerson, you’ll likely have to take one or more of what we call liberal studies courses. These courses do not have to, and normally do not relate to, the program you are in, which makes it an incredible way to explore and study new and exciting things.

Personally, I like to take liberal courses that are the furthest from similar to my program as possible, just for fun.

To help all of you out when deciding which liberal courses to take, I decided to go ahead and ask a few of my peers what they believed to be their favourite liberal they have taken during their time here at Ryerson, so let’s get to it!


PHL 214: Critical Thinking


Testimony: “I’m going for a philosophy minor, and the course teaches you about informal logic and how to structure arguments well. It’s really useful not just for philosophy, but for writing and thinking coherently in general. I even found that in my day-to-day conversations, I was able to speak and organize my thoughts a with more ease and clarity. The course content is actually really easy too, so it’s a surefire way to score an A and to up your grades on any other writing-focused class. Literally any student in any field could benefit from an easy A and better writing/thinking skills.” – Jimmy Kwan, first-year Media Production


SOC 902: Hollywood and Society and ENG 222: Fairy Tales and Fantasies


Testimony: “Loved SOC 902 Hollywood and Society and ENG 222 Fairy Tales and Fantasies. Because of the course material. I got to write an essay on Mean Girls for one and Game of Thrones for the other. Super fun, interesting content!” – Melody McMullan, fourth-year Creative Industries


SEM 102: Introduction to Visual Semiotics


Testimony: “I took SEM 102 just because It was the only course that worked with my schedule, but turns out it was the best thing ever. A major part of it was because it was taught by the amazing Stephanie Walsh Mathews. It’s also just an overall great mixture of philosophy, psychology, and linguistics. I also got an A in it since the exams and assignments are super fun!” – Sidrah Khatoon, graduating class of 2017


PSY 105: Perspectives in Psychology 


Testimony: “If you like learning about things like mental illnesses or brain conditions without getting too science-y this course is really good. Not by any means easy (unless you’ve already taken high school psychology), but it’s very interesting if you enjoy understanding different facets of the human condition!” – Zoe Choptain, second-year Creative Industries 


REL 101: Introduction to World Religions 


Testimony: “I picked World Religions, originally, because I was interested in the content – and it is interesting! Learning about different theologies and religions is cool! But, the best part of the course is Dr. Raj, the professor. He’s a very engaging lecturer, every class is entertaining and theatrical (in a good way) and he keeps me hooked from start to finish.” – Daniel Karan, first-year Film Studies


POL 203: Politics of the Environment


Testimony: “The textbook was super interesting and I actually enjoyed doing the readings. We had a weekly reading response, two essay-type assignments and no exam. The professor did a really good job of breaking down environmentalism into its parts and then bringing it all back together and showing us the connections between different issues while relating it to political policy, making it all really easy to understand. Definitely my favourite course so far.” – Maxine Kozak, second-year Creative Industries 


SOC 633: Sex, Gender Identities and Sexualities and SOC 202: Popular Cultures


Testimony: “Both had fantastic profs who were really good at facilitating class discussion, and with those sorts of topics. Discussion is so important. Also, since the subjects can be a bit sensitive, so if someone said something ignorant they didn’t put up with it. Also, I know so many people take Popular Culture and I think it’s so important, especially as a lower level class, to give everyone the tools to analyze media through a sociological lens. I actually took it in my last year (I was in the English program and I messed up with my required courses in second year and accidentally ended up taking 5 English courses in one semester, and let me tell you, it was not a good time, but I digress) and it was so interesting as someone who was a bit further along in my educational career to observe those who were still just starting out developing their critical thinking skills and coming to terms with how much pop culture and the media truly affects us and how much of a reflection of society it is, if that makes sense!” – Samantha Kim, graduating class of 2015


PHL 366: Existentialism and Art Culture


Testimony: “I had the most amazing prof (Thomas Hart) and the class really made me think. Sometimes too much and it freaked me out, but it was still really interesting. We had the best discussions every single class and the projects/assignments gave us a lot of freedom to choose what interested us.” – Julia, second-year Journalism


CRI 820: Global Licensing/Distribution Agreements


Testimony: I did not do course intentions properly so my options were slim when I was able to register for open enrolment. I picked CRI 820 and honestly thought I was going to hate but it was the only thing that worked for my schedule. It actually is hands down my favourite class thus far. The professors are really easy-going and extremely knowledgeable (both lawyers who work in the entertainment/technology industries). We had to do an interview assignment and I got to interview someone who works as VP of acquisitions for a comedy distribution/production company in Los Angeles which was really fun and interesting. The bulk of your final grade is based on a negotiation group assignment where you pick roles (you’re either a production company or a cable channel, for example) and you try to negotiate the best deal. I would recommend it to anyone who would especially like to work in the film industry. I love it so far I always feel so lame when we end early and I want to continue class.” – Diana James, second-year Creative Industries)


I hope this helped y’all out a little in the process of choosing a liberal course to take.

I’ll see you all soon!



Course offerings are subject to change. For the most up-to-date information regarding courses available please refer to the Undergraduate Course Calendar.

Responses have been edited for clarity and length.

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