This summer, Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., will offer a course titled "The Sociology of Miley Cyrus."
“I created it as a creative and rigorous way of looking at what’s relevant about sociology and sociology theory,” she told the Schenectady Daily Gazette. “Miley Cyrus is a surprisingly complicated cultural moment.”
This isn't the first time a university course has used a celebrity to tackle a social issue -- Rutgers had a class on Beyoncé and feminism, the University of Missouri offered one on Jay-Z and Kanye West as a way to talk about other famous creative relationships and the University of South Carolina used Lady Gaga to talk about the "sociology of fame."
The main complaint thrown at courses like these is that they're frivolous and a waste of money. But are classes like "The Material Culture in the Victorian Novel" or "The Power of Ornament: Roman Imperial Imagery and Its Reception" really more practical than studying gender politics through our cultural reaction to the VMAs?
Despite sky-rocketing tuitions, going to college still pays; however, as a recent study by PayScale illustrates, not all degrees are created equal. Major in science, engineering or math at a top-tier school, and your predicted return on investment sky-rockets.
Still, there's a solid argument to be made that it's not what you learn, but how you learn. And in that vein, it's not what you learn about Miley Cyrus but how you do it.
Here are five other classes that take an untraditional approach to learning. While most of them have eyebrow raising titles, on closer inspection, they're all far less ridiculous than advertised.