Question everything.

As soon as you start classes at Oxford, you’ll learn to examine and practice the methods of the disciplines you are studying. Our inquiry-based classes expand your classroom learning with real-world experiences.

Also called Ways of Inquiry, INQ, or simply Q courses, these classes help sharpen your critical thinking and problem-solving skills. In INQ courses, you’ll learn to understand and question the ways in which knowledge is pursued. And you’ll develop abilities that transcend disciplines, honing skills in reading critically, communicating effectively and pursuing knowledge independently.

INQ courses will stimulate your intellectual curiosity and independent thinking—and many have service components. These courses open doors to understanding the ways in which people, nature, societies and cultures interact in the world and how they have shaped the past, influence the present and can change our future.

Take your pick from more than 40 inquiry-based courses each year—classes that are the core to your study at Oxford.

There are a variety of INQ classes across the curriculum. Some examples below, with full course descriptions for a few more. 

Pique your curiosity

  • Animal Architecture and Physiology
  • Drawing and Painting II
  • Europe in the 20th Century (Art History)
  • Evolution of the Earth
  • Forensic Chemistry
  • History of Drama and Theater
  • History of Western Civilization I
  • Introduction to Archaeology
  • Introduction to Environmental Studies
  • Introduction to Religion
  • Making of Modern America since 1877
  • Mythic Kings
  • Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology
  • Political Science Research Design Methods
  • Shakespeare


An introduction to the neurobiology of mental disorders such as depression and schizophrenia. Additional topics include psychoneuroimmunology, stress and coping, and psychopharmacology. A background in neuroscience (as offered in anthropology, biology, chemistry, or psychology) is strongly encouraged.


An introduction to the theory and method of contemporary political analysis. Learn how to conduct research by practicing the ways of inquiry used by most political scientists: how to formulate research questions and subsequent hypotheses; how to design a research plan; determining what methodologies are appropriate; and employing strategies and techniques for collecting data.