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A filler course, also known as an open elective, is any course other than major requirements. The main purpose of taking a filler course is to broaden your education and experience by exploring another academic area. Filler courses should be taken in areas that interest you or about which you want to learn more. The benefit of studying another discipline or topic is two-fold: firstly, it can give you something new to tell an employer about on your resume if you do not have enough work experience; secondly, this new knowledge will help improve your critical thinking skills through exposure to different kinds of problems that may challenge some of the theories and hypotheses that were presented in your major courses.
For example, if you are a biology major, one possible benefit of enrolling in an art history or geography class is gaining a new perspective on how artists and geographers think about the world–which may lead you to be able to see things from a new angle and notice details that might not be important enough for others to point out. A business class may give you insights into how marketing and finance work together towards building a brand name or product awareness. This may also apply with science majors as many fields overlap such as chemistry and biochemistry, biology and biomedical science/engineering, physics and astrophysics etc.
The courses are designed to be interdisciplinary, which means that you will have the chance to learn how different disciplines work together. For example, if you are a biology major with an interest in business, an introductory level business course could give you insights into how marketing and finance work together towards building a brand name or product awareness.
An art history class may give you insights into how artists think about the world–which may lead you to be able to see things from a new angle and notice details that might not be important enough for others to point out.
Possible benefits of taking filler courses include: gaining new perspective on how other disciplines or topics work; learning more about an area of interest; having something new to tell potential employers on your resume; and exploring possible future areas of study.
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