Harry Potter Course Election Guide

By Amy Guan | 2/14/17 1:39am

It’s Week 7, your midterms are looking a little grim, you keep falling asleep during your 10 and you’re starting to wonder why you ever thought higher education was worth it in the first place. Winter Carnival emails about Harry Potter aren’t helping, and suddenly you’re daydreaming about living it up with Harry at Hogwarts, learning how to fly on broomsticks and turn rats yellow (or trying to, anyway). Don’t worry, we’ve all been there, and Dartbeat is here to help you out. Being in the middle of nowhere, sporting pretty sweet architecture and even having a similar housing system, it turns out that Dartmouth isn’t that different from Hogwarts. Even the classes are pretty similar, if you really think about it — stick with them, and you'll be transforming rats and flying in no time. We’ve compiled a handy guide of classes to help you live your best magical life.

HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN, Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, 2004, (c) Warner Brothers


Ever find yourself staring at page 394 of your textbook for hours, throwing around different elements and praying to yourself that you’ve finally found the right solution for the mixture? Welcome to Potions class (or is it Chemistry?). With long labs that never seem to end, reactions that you don’t completely understand and way too many specific materials, who can really tell the difference between Potions and Chem anyway? Let’s just hope Snape’s not looking over your shoulder.

Warner Bros. via wikia.com


If you’ve ever taken a beginner’s snowsport P.E. class here, you know that for the most part, it’s got you feeling a bit like a hot mess. Poles are everywhere, skis and snowboards are getting to be a little too much to handle and you’re pretty sure your body can’t physically twist and turn the way it’s supposed to — basically Harry’s first-year flying class at Hogwarts. And there’s always that one kid that looks a little too good to be a beginner that makes the rest of the class look extra bad, too (we’re looking at you, Harry). But by the end of the term, you’re sure to be flying down powdery slopes.

Warner Bros. via giphy.com


You could always just recite “Sunshine, daisies, butter mellow, turn this stupid, fat rat yellow,” but let’s face it, rat.setColor(Color.yellow) is just so much more efficient. Transfiguration, like computer science, is all about mastering those specific pronunciations and actions to create and change objects. It’s confusing and difficult at first, but once you’ve picked up the basics and learned the movements and language, there’s no telling where your skills in transfiguration and computer science will take you. Self-driving cars? Flying pigs? Robotic armies? Piertotum Locomotor, yo.

Warner Bros. via imagemtv.com


Or Defense Against The Patriarchy, am I right? With Voldy gone moldy over 10 years ago, what else is there left to fight? Women, gender & sexuality studies provides today’s bravest souls with the tools to fight today’s biggest issues: the -isms. Learn how to defend yourself against dark creatures and dark minds and practice dueling your mouthy classmates — this class is as practical and real-world as it gets.

Warner Bros. via tumblr.com


We’d have done something wrong if we went through the Dartmouth departments without mentioning Econ, wouldn’t we? Kind of like Charms — everyone takes it, everyone gets through it and everyone not-so-secretly knows that it’s for those sick Ministry jobs. Classes are relevant and interesting, and mastering at least some of the skills in the class are essential to successful lives post-Hogwarts (or Dartmouth). Just don’t be that one person who still doesn’t know it’s Wingardium Levi-O-sa, and you’ll be fine.  

Warner Bros. via media-cache.com


Dartmouth may not have Hogwarts’ rowdy, crying plants (yet), but we did have Morphy the smelly corpse flower, so who’s really winning here? Get to know your plants in environmental studies, where you’ll learn how to take care of plants and the environment, familiarize yourself with a greenhouse as well as Neville did and let us know when you do discover a mandrake — please.

Warner Bros. via giphy.com

Amy Guan