Can You ID All of These 1953 School Classes From a Course Description?


By: Daniel Yetman

6 Min Quiz

Image: George Marks/Retrofile RF/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Universities in 1953 offered many of the same professional fields offered today, such as medicine, law and business. However, many new fields of research have appeared since then. The first household computer didn't come into existence until the 1970s. Now, computer science is one of the fastest growing fields. 

Some of the same courses offered in 1953 still exist today, over 60 years later. Classic literature and other ancient studies haven't changed much since then. However, many of the science classes would be completely different. A nuclear physics class in the 1950s would have focused on electrons, neutrons and protons because scientists thought they were the smallest particles in existence. However, a modern physics class would subdivide these subjects even further into quarks. 

Can you imagine going to a biology class in the 1950s and having to look at a single cell organism through a microscope so grainy that you can barely make out what you're looking at? With an improvement in technology has come an improvement in our ability to understand our world. 

All these classes in this quiz were actually offered at UCLA in 1953. Do you think you're smart enough to guess the names of these classes based on their descriptions? Let's find out!

In this class, you'll learn about the prevention and examination of athletic injuries. You'll also learn prevention techniques such as taping and bandaging.

Even in the 1950s, sports science was offered in universities. They may not have had many of the modern techniques trainers have today, but they still knew how to tape a sprained ankle.


You'll learn about the folklore of festivals and pageants during your semester enrolled in this class. You'll create an original festival as a final examination.

You probably won't find this class at many modern universities. However, in 1953 you could receive credit in the physical education department for creating a festival. Oktoberfest anybody?


In this class you'll study the art of physical timing.

In this class, actors learned how to move their limbs on stage as they learned the art of dramatic acting. At modern universities, body language in acting might be in the theater department. However, this class gave you credit toward becoming a gym teacher.


You'll get a chance to do field work on beaches studying the wind and ocean in this course.

Doesn't it sound great spending the day at the beach? The course doesn't say what beach students would have studied at, but we like to picture the shores of Malibu.


In this class, you'll learn about classic principles of war and the development of weapons.

In this class, you'll learn about even the most modern of weapons. Of course, even the most modern weapons are over 60 years old. Perhaps the name of this class should be renamed "History of the Art of War." However, you could impress your classmates with your knowledge of the future.


In this class, you'll use the most modern meteorological inventions to analyze weather patterns.

It's hard to picture what the most modern meteorological devices would look like. Perhaps that means holding a lightning rod and seeing what will happen. Keep in mind that this is in the pre-computer days. Maybe you could bring your MacBook and show the class the ways of the future.


This class teaches you about foods that are known causes of diseases.

Nutrition is a field where the research is constantly shifting. Although, trends in modern nutrition probably aren't much different than what were in style in the 1950s. Eggs had a bad reputation for causing heart disease during the 1990s. However, now eggs seem to be on the list of healthy foods again.


In this class, you'll learn the design and construction of clothing.

Tailoring isn't as popular now as it was in the 1950s. Back then, tailors had so many problems they had a course for it. Likely, the course would teach you different ways to mend clothing. However, it's more fun to picture a group of tailors sitting around and talking about problems in their relationships.


In this class, you'll learn to arrange your furniture for maximum liveability.

This class probably didn't teach you how to set up your smart home. However, learning the basics of feng shui would probably be helpful for most new college gradates.


This class teaches you about the growth of young children with a focus on preschool-aged kids.

A laboratory in child study sounds like the type of class where you learn how to make babies out of a test tube. Maybe that class will be on the register in another 60 years.


In this class, you'll learn quantitative and qualitative methods of food preparation.

Cooking and chemistry aren't entirely different. However, experimenting with a new chocolate chip cookie recipe seems more delicious than a recipe of different lab chemicals.


In this class, you'll learn about Chinese and Japanese culture.

There's no question that the China and Japan you would have learned about in the 1950s would be significantly different than today. Now, they are two of the world's largest economies.


This course gives you the opportunity to apply genetic principles to the creation of plants.

Breeding isn't often a term used with plants. We can only imagine that plant breeding was as simple as leaving a maple tree alone with an oak overnight and coming back in the morning to find an elm.


In this class, you'll learn about classic plays translated from Latin and Greek.

This class probably hasn't changed much in the last 60 years. However, now when most people hear "drama," their minds jump to the happenings on reality television. Maybe they had reality television in the days of Pompeii, but the volcanic eruption covered the evidence.


In this class, you'll learn money management and how to file taxes.

This class is still offered at most universities today. Learning how to do your taxes is a basic skill that never goes out of style. There might be some subtle differences in the material taught, as well as some differences in tax law. However, it's hard to imagine the class has changed dramatically.


This class teaches you about different soil conditions as they relate to agriculture.

We're not going to lie. This course sounds completely made up. However, bacteriology is a legitimate field of research. It sounds like the kind of field of study a guy might make up when trying to impress a girl at a bar. "Yes, I'm studying ... er... bacteriology. It's very serious."


In this class, you'll learn about nearby stars and planets.

Astrophysics in the 1950s isn't anything like astrophysics now. Pluto wasn't even first discovered until 1930! How powerful do you think the telescopes were back then? Likely the telescopes you would use in the class were equivalent of something you could buy off Amazon today.


In this class, you'll learn basic techniques of sketching as it pertains to human anatomy.

Drawing sounds like a class that would be offered in elementary school. The course was likely geared more toward drawing human figures artistically. However, it's still fun to imagine a group of students in the 1950s all drawing with crayons.


This course will teach you about clothing as a method of artistic expression.

This class was offered in the art department. If any school was going to offer a fashion class, it makes sense that's it in LA. There's probably an equivalent class as this one offered today. However, art is so subjective it's hard to imagine how you would get graded.


In this class, you'll learn about protoplasmic structure, metabolism, and about the growth and nutrition of protozoa.

You'll get to use all the latest laboratory equipment in this class. By today's standards, that might leave something to be desired. However, it's cool to think that even back then people had an understanding of single cell organisms. The composition of pond scum probably hasn't changed much since then...


In this class, you'll learn about sociopathic behaviour as it relates to isolation and social control.

This class is still offered at many universities. Human behavior hasn't changed much in the last 60 years. In fact, it's probably a useful class. It seems like it would be advantageous to be able to recognize sociopathic behavior so that we can better defend ourselves against it.


You'll study film as it relates to other art forms in this course.

In 1953, the top movies would have included War of the Worlds and Roman Holiday. By today's standards, any movies you studied in this class would be considered a classic.


In this class, you'll be writing for movies and television.

If you've ever seen a movie from the 1950s, it's easy to see how screenwriting has changed through the years. Today, dialogue is far less stilted. However, some of the top movies from the 1950s are still regarded as classics today. Filmmakers would have had to be a lot more creative without access to special effects.


In this class, you'll learn about basic microphone technique.

Radio is largely a bygone medium. However, podcasts have gained popularity in the last decade. What's the future in broadcasting? Perhaps in another 60 years there will be a course about how to properly broadcast a holographic talk show.


You'll discuss the recent findings in fruit tree management during this semester-long class.

Fruit breeding sounds less like a university class and more like a bored botanist's hobby. But who knows, maybe some of the graduates of this class went on to deliver us some new species of our favorite fruits!


In this class, you'll learn about how social behaviour affects health.

This class was offered under the sociology department. Even in the 1950s, people knew that a strong sense of community was linked to social well-being. However, mental health issues weren't as well studied back then. Doctors continued to lobotomize patients until the 1960s.


In this class, you'll learn the basics of how to keep your kitchen clean.

This class was offered in the public health department. It sounds like it would be useful for anybody entering the food industry. The last thing you want is somebody opening a restaurant without knowing that cooking with raw meat can cause salmonella.


You'll learn how to change human behaviour while enrolled in this class.

This class was offered under the psychology department. Who wouldn't want to learn about how to change somebody's behavior?


In this class, you'll learn about concepts of how the brain is organized.

Neuroanatomy is a field that has grown significantly since the 1950s. If you could go back in time and enter this class, you'd probably look like a genius. That's not to say we know everything about the brain today. If we did, addiction and other brain disorders wouldn't still exist.


In this class, you'll learn about disorders of the brain and their effect on social behavior.

Abnormal psychology is a class that many universities still offer. However, the research in this field has grown significantly on diseases such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.


This class will teach you about contemporary problems in Western Europe.

There has been so much that's happened in Western Europe since the second world war, that you could fill another class with history from 1953 to the present. This class wouldn't even touch on the breakdown of the Soviet Union.


In this class, you'll learn about atomic nuclei and their parts.

The neutron of an atom wasn't even discovered until 1932. Since then, physicists have found that the particles inside an atom can be further subdivided into quarks.


In this class, you'll study changing medical disorders.

Modern health issues would look significantly different in the 1950s. Since then, obesity rates in North America have skyrocketed. It's thought that the increased incidence of obesity is caused by eating an increased amount of processed foods and sugar, as well as performing less physical activity.


You'll learn about and participate in games meant for children during this class.

Doesn't this sound like the most fun class ever? Imagine getting university credit for playing capture the flag! There was probably some class work involved. However, how hard could a test be when you have to fill in the following blank? "Hide and _____"


In this class, you'll study philosophy as it relates to space travel.

With the rapid expansion of physics, much of the content in this class probably isn't relevant today. Although, maybe you could engage a student in the class about the possibility of time travel.


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