Let's consider why people go to college. Is it to broaden horizons? To secure a better job in the years ahead? To meet unusual people and attend wild parties? Well, forget all of those old reasons. Those reasons are dead to us. Thanks to EW, we now know that there is only one reason to attend college now and that reason is to take a course centered entirely around 'The Walking Dead.'

AMC and UC Irvine have teamed up to offer the course, which begins on October 14, 2013 (one day after the season four premiere of the ever-popular zombie series). Although that timing stinks of "promotional tool," we're not going to lie -- there's certainly something oddly compelling about an entire college class dedicated to exploring the world as viewed through 'The Walking Dead.' In fact, the list of course topics sound more thoughtful and interesting than anything on the show itself:

  • Maslow’s hierarchy of needs—is survival just about being alive?
  • Social order and structures—from the farm and the prison to Woodbury
  • Social identity, roles, and stereotyping—as shown through leaders like Rick and the Governor
  • The role of public health in society—from the CDC to local community organizations
  • The spread of infectious disease and population modeling—swarm!
  • The role of energy and momentum in damage control—how can you best protect yourself?
  • Nutrition in a post-apocalyptic world—are squirrels really good for you?
  • Managing stress in disaster situations—what’s the long-term effect of always sleeping with one eye open?

In other words, it sounds less like a "Let's Talk About How Cool 'The Walking Dead' Is!" class and more of a "Let's Discuss The Social Ramifications Of A Post-Apocalyptic World Using 'The Walking Dead' As A Starting Example" class. It's the classier version of those late night, drunken conversations you'd otherwise be having in your dorm, where you and your buddies discuss your personal zombie survival plans. If you're going to talk about the finer points of living in a world where flesh-eating corpses are always after you, you might as well do it in a more official capacity.

Enrollment is free, so head on over to the official site to sign up and get your education. After all, the official class description promises that, upon completion, you'll be able to:

  • Describe how infectious diseases—like a zombie epidemic—spread and are managed
  • Apply various models of society and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to existing and emerging societies as a means for understanding human behavior
  • Analyze existing social roles and stereotypes as they exist today and in an emerging world
  • Debate the role of public health organizations in society
  • Describe how mathematical equations for population dynamics can be used to study disease spread and interventions
  • Apply concepts of energy and momentum appropriately when analyzing collisions and other activities that either inflict or prevent damage
  • Summarize multiple methods for managing stress in disaster situations

In other words, all of the essentials for 21st century living.

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