Written by Emma Jones // Graphic by Cooper Turman
The Office of the Provost announced a change in University policy March 29 that will more easily allow undergraduate students to add a minor to their degree program.
The email, sent from University Provost Marty Spears, stated that courses counted in a major can also be counted toward a minor as long as the degrees are in different academic departments. Previously, policy upheld that the same course could not be counted toward both a major and minor.
Along with the policy change, the email also announced the addition of three new minors that can be used as an accelerated pathway to a master’s degree.
Students who add the accelerated minors to their degree program can take up to 12 hours of graduate classes as part of the minor that counts for both undergraduate and graduate credit. The new accelerated minors are counseling, history, and leadership and innovation.
“When we created the accelerated programs, initially we weren’t thinking about the minors,” Spears said. “We were thinking about students taking 12 hours and being able to count those both for the undergrad and the grad. So we created these programs like in the College of Business with students being able to earn a BBA and MBA. … Really the idea for the minor started because we had several programs outside the College of Business who wanted to take advantage of that.”
Along with the three accelerated minors, four new minors that can be used to supplement an undergraduate degree were added. The four new minors include communication sciences and disorders, human-centered design, mechanical engineering and speech-language pathology.
Spears said the University’s intention with the new minor programs is to potentially open doors into more specialized areas for a student’s future career.
“We’re really trying to innovate and think about all our programs … we could offer that would lead directly to a job,” Spears said.
Registrar Tod Martin said adding a minor to a degree program can be a benefit to students if they choose wisely.
“Now that the rule of ‘majors and minors cannot share courses’ has been done away with, students have many more options open to them … but it’s now up to the student to make wise choices in what their combined major and minor communicate to potential employers,” Martin said. “We definitely want students to add minors if they can, but they should be strategic about it and have a good reason for doing so.”
Senior media production major Gabe Hosticka had dropped a minor in light and sound design after finding out earlier this semester that he wouldn’t be able to graduate with the minor due to the overlap in his classes. He said after he found out about the policy change, he contacted his advisor about potentially finding a way to add the minor back to his transcript.
“I’d still like to add it if [my adviser] can figure it out,” Hosticka said. “I had done pretty much everything for the minor already.”