The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (search) is offering students a chance to earn credit studying "American Idol."

Beginning in January, students at UNCC can earn three credits taking the class, "Examining 'American Idol' Through Musical Critique."

Students will watch the show twice a week and study the history of musical styles used in the show including Motown and Broadway. The class will devise a contestant rating system. The final will be a paper explaining who should win and why.

Assistant musicology professor Jay Grymes came up with the idea. He's a huge fan of the show. He says it can be a springboard for discussing music performances and critiques.

"American Idol" alums Clay Aiken (search) and Fantasia Barrino are both from North Carolina.