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Majoring in zombie with a minor in MOOC

AMC and Instructure recruit college professors to create a free, online course structured around the zombie drama.

Zombies standing at a fence
A massive open online course based on the "The Walking Dead." will keep your classmates at a safe distance.

One way to be sure you won't miss "The Walking Dead" next season is to make it your homework.

AMC, Instructure, and the professors from the University of California, Irvine have created a free, eight-week massive open online course, or MOOC, touching on a range of scholarly topics all structured around the cable network's hit zombie drama.

Academic studies of pop culture are staples on campuses -- I recall friends at my university taking a "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" course while I was slogging through Econ 10 -- but the collaboration around "The Walking Dead" brings pop culture to an academic environment in a bigger, digital way. It's the first time a technology firm, entertainment company and major university have collaborated like this, they said in a release.

Called "Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC's 'The Walking Dead,'" the course will be taught by UC Irvine faculty Zuzana Bic, public health; Joanne Christopherson, social sciences; Michael Dennin physics; and Sarah Eichhorn, mathematics.

Enrollment is open to at Instructure's MOOC plattorm, The first class is scheduled for Monday, October 14, the day after the Season 4 premiere and will run for eight consecutive Mondays through December 2.