What Colleges Are Teaching Harry Potter Courses?

MuggleNet Academia, a venture I co-host, as explained here earlier this week is up and running with the first show featuring an interview with Washington & Lee’s Suzanne Keen. The show is earning raves with more than 2,000 tweets and FaceBook mentions.

One of the hopes of the show is to provide, in addition to thoughtful conversation focused on the world’s best selling books, a list of the courses about the Hogwarts Saga or those featuring Harry Potter in a significant way. Keith Hawk over at MuggleNet has already prepared the page for this listing of University and College Courses but he has asked me to enlist the HogPro All-Pros here to share what courses they have taken or heard of.

A quick Google search, for example, brings up Best Harry Potter Courses (MovieFone, 11 Nov 2010),  15 Fascinating Harry Potter Courses (BestCollegesOnline.com, 18 July 2011), and a note from the University of Nebraska: “Plans for a new 200-level Harry Potter English class for the fall semester of 2013 are under way.” With Harry Potter the Shared Text of Generation Hex, I assume the school year 2012-13, classes for which older students have already registered, will include a tide if not a tsunami of new explorations of Harry’s adventures.

Thanks in advance for sharing the course title, the school name, the Professor’s name, and one or two sentences describing course content!


  1. I am teaching PLS 476-002 “Harry Potter and the Law” at Morehead State University, Morehead, KY. I am an attorney and assistant professor in the Legal Studies program at MSU. I taught the class in Spring of 2011 and am teaching the class again this Fall. The class, targeted towards non-legal studies majors, uses the Harry Potter series as a means for considering the role of the government and legal institutions, crimes and punishments, moral development, economics, and the legal profession. As a civic education service learning project, the students conclude the course by presenting a Harry Potter trial to community groups, with the community members serving as jurors.

  2. cbiondi says

    I am teaching PHIL 332: “Harry Potter and Philosophy” at Marymount Manhattan College, NY, NY this coming Fall 2012. I ran it for the first time in Fall 2011. Here is the course description: Abstract ideas can be brought to life through the moral imagination provided by good works of fiction. In this course we will examine the popular culture phenomenon of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter saga, which literary scholar John Granger calls our “shared text” of the twenty-first century. As we work through philosophy of literature, ethics, political philosophy, and metaphysics in relation to the narrative structure and content of Harry Potter, we’ll grapple with issues such as character, love, friendship, truth-telling, heroism, justice, law, war, punishment, identity, meaning, death, and free will.

  3. cbiondi says

    Ooops, hit the submit button too soon…. P.S.–My name is Carrie-Ann Biondi and I’m an Associate Professor of Philosophy.

  4. I just finished contributing a chapter for a book coming out next year titled “Teaching with Harry Potter” in which I cover some of the more interesting college courses utilizing the Harry Potter texts. The count (which I know is low, but it was of what I could find) of colleges using HP is at 52. This includes colleges from Finger Lakes Community College to Yale; and from England, across America, to China. I didn’t have Morehead State so now I know of 53.

  5. As you know, I’ve been teaching my undergraduate/graduate “Harry Potter and His Predecessors” seminar for a decade now (!!!) at Belmont University (most recently in rotation in 2009), Lenoir-Rhyne University (most recently in rotation in 2011), and the Mythgard Institute (currently in progress).

  6. Cathy Leogrande says

    I teach an online graduate course called “Harry Potter: Multidiscilplinary Perspectives” with material rankings from philosophy, psychology, business and history supplementing the literary analysis. I also focus on participatory culture, transmedia storytelling and copyright issues to demonstrate the breadth of Rowling’s impact on the way we interact based on text.

  7. James Kelley says

    I’m James B. Kelley, an Associate Professor of English at Mississippi State University-Meridian. This semester I’ve already covered the first Harry Potter book and film in an undergraduate course (EN 2434 Literature and Film) that’s concentrating on works dealing with the power of different forms of media, from print to film to electronic. My students have had a number of interesting exchanges concerning the muggles’ computers, the wizards’ newspapers, and even the Mirror of Erised.

    I contributed a chapter to the same book that Steve talks about in an earlier post, Teaching with Harry Potter: Essays on Classroom Wizardry from Elementary School to College (forthcoming from McFarland in 2013). Here are some links to that collection:

  8. Florence Maatita says

    I’m an Associate Professor of Sociology at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. I’ll be teaching a “Sociology of Harry Potter” course this summer. In addition to a number of readings from various HP anthologies, I’ll be using The Sociology of Harry Potter, edited by Jenn Simms.

  9. Susan Bradbury says

    I am offering my second semester of an 200 level analytical writing course using Harry Potter. We examine the power of myth found in the story, the hero’s and destiny story of the books, the meaning of love and marriage. Through all of the topics we cover, students strengthen their analytical writing skills through the series of essays and handouts they are given. It really is so much fun to use my most beloved story to teach!

    Education 787/897 2 credits (graduate or undergraduate)
    For Education students who plan to teach middle school or high school.

    This course uses the Harry Potter books to investigate strategies for online teaching in the English Language Arts. Students will read and discuss articles about online learning, watch online lectures, and complete research assignments. They will also have access to an active online course for middle school kids (33 lectures and quizzes, as well as a variety of creative assignments) entitled “Reading, Writing, and Storytelling with Harry Potter.”

  11. I teach a course focusing on the social construction of culture and the folklore and mythology in Harry Potter. It’s entitled: Interdisciplinary Studies 370: Harry Potter: Culture and Folklore in J.K. Rowling’s Magical World. The course is an upper-division, Social Science General Education course at California State University San Marcos, with 110 students each semester. Also, in June 2014 I am teaching a study abroad course in England and Scotland, entitled: Harry Potter in the UK: Locations and Cultures that Inspired the Harry Potter Novels & Films. We will be traveling to many sites that are central to the books and/or were used to film the movies. Here’s a link to a website about the travel course: http://www.csusm.edu/global/studyabroad/UK%20Harry%20Potter.html.

  12. I’ve been teaching a literature course on Harry Potter since 2007 (on and off) during our 3-week intensive winter term program at Elon University in North Carolina, USA.

    ENG 272: “Hogwarts for Muggles: The Phenomenon of Harry Potter” explores the series from a variety of critical and creative perspectives, including its place within fantasy and young adult genres, historical influences, literary craft, and the ideological issues it raises. Various theoretical approaches provide lenses for interpreting and critiquing the books, as well as investigating the world-wide fan phenomenon that surrounds it. Students are required to have read the entire series recently; in class, we re-read excerpts alongside selected critical articles.

    As a cloak-wearing, wand-wielding professor, I’ve had a great time over the years building the course as a kind of Hogwarts “experience,” complete with houses that support collaborative learning and opportunities to try out their own world-building creative skills, even while students are learning about literary studies and interpretation. (The wizard duels during class breaks just are a bonus!)

  13. Bertena Varney says

    I am a sociology professor at Southcentral Ky Community College in Bowling Green, KY. I am teaching Inequality in Society by using the Sociology of Harry Potter book and the texts. We look at international social issues as they are in HP and how they mirror the real world issues.
    It is so fun. I am also the chapter organizer for the Harry Potter Alliance and we have a quidditch team as well.
    A few of my students and the librarian and I are going to be presenting at Conjuration this November. I am excited.

  14. I wonder if they’ll make any new Harry Potter movies now that they have this other series by the author coming out?

  15. Mary, I expect there’ll be more, related movies after Fantastic Beasts, which is exciting.

    Tiffany Gee Lewis recently published a good, short piece on Harry Potter — “The cultural impacts of Harry Potter on the next generation” (Nov. 11, 2016) — that includes the results of her interviews with professors at two universities.


  16. My dream profession is to teach a class about Harry Potter. I simply don’t have any idea how to go about getting this job…I’d assume I would need a degree in something very specific, but I don’t know what exactly. Any advice would be enormously helpful.

  17. University of Memphis has a great honors level class covering journalism and intro to theater titled “Harry Potter and the Ivory Tower”.

  18. Lana Whited says

    Since Fall 2011, I have taught Harry Potter and the Hero Myth, a course in our required sophomore literature sequence, at Ferrum College in Ferrum, Va. The course focuses on the hero myth as defined by Otto Rank and Joseph Campbell and its manifestation in literatures of the Western world. Foundational readings include The Epic of Gilgamesh, the great West African Epic of Sundiata, the Old Testament story of Moses, and a version (sometimes excerpt) of the Arthurian legend, often T. H. White’s The Sword in the Stone. In previous semesters, we have read The Fellowship of the Ring; The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; and The Hunger Games. Students are generally expected to have read the Harry Potter series prior to the course (although, increasingly, their familiarity with Harry Potter is based on the films, not the books – to the instructor’s dismay). I do not require my own book The Ivory Tower and Harry Potter, although it is an important secondary source, and students read Katherine Grimes’s important essay “Harry Potter as Fairy-Tale Prince, Real Boy, and Archetypal Hero.” At the end of the course, students undertake an independent project requiring them to apply the Hero Myth to a work not on the required reading list.

  19. I’m teaching a course titled The Worlds of Harry Potter in the interdisciplinary studies department at Cal State U Dominguez Hills this Fall.

    My background is in lit so the class will have a lit focus, but also discuss the fan communities, especially those online, surrounding the books.

    The course website is still under construction, but the URL is:

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