Should Wesleyan be offering the option to minor?

Well, we’ve had the poll up and running for a little while now, and the Argus even wrote an article about the issue of offering minors at the university, citing the results of the Wesleying poll. However, a yes-or-no poll doesn’t give leave much room for shadings of opinion; as someone who voted that “No,” we should not have minors, which seems to be an opinion in the extreme minority, I’d like to create this post as a forum for anyone to reflect and discuss the question. Should Wesleyan be offering the option to minor?

I’ll post my opinion in a comment so as not to give my ideas on the subject any particular legitimacy over other ideas.

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10 thoughts on “Should Wesleyan be offering the option to minor?

  1. Alissa

    I double majored for the same reason as Marianna– I don’t think that “minor equivalent” or “substantial coursework” is taken as seriously as a minor in terms of job opportunities or even grad school, so if you have two substantial interests double majoring seems to be the only option. And that, in turn, has made it harder for me to take courses outside those two main interests, which is a shame given the diversity of interesting courses available here.

  2. Alissa

    I double majored for the same reason as Marianna– I don’t think that “minor equivalent” or “substantial coursework” is taken as seriously as a minor in terms of job opportunities or even grad school, so if you have two substantial interests double majoring seems to be the only option. And that, in turn, has made it harder for me to take courses outside those two main interests, which is a shame given the diversity of interesting courses available here.

  3. Marianna

    I am a double major in biology and German studies, and if I had gone elsewhere, I would’ve minored in German instead. There have been times when the double major has been a pain in my ass. But I am equally interested in careers in both majors, and I don’t think “took a bunch of German classes” comes across that well on paper.

  4. Marianna

    I am a double major in biology and German studies, and if I had gone elsewhere, I would’ve minored in German instead. There have been times when the double major has been a pain in my ass. But I am equally interested in careers in both majors, and I don’t think “took a bunch of German classes” comes across that well on paper.

  5. Anonymous

    I actually agree with you now, but I still think it’s harder to get recognition for those 6 classes you took in a subject on a resume when trying to get a job.

  6. Anonymous

    I actually agree with you now, but I still think it’s harder to get recognition for those 6 classes you took in a subject on a resume when trying to get a job.

  7. The Producer

    I agree wholeheartedly. You can get the same educational experience with or without calling part of it a Minor. The truth of it is, you can make a case for your coursework constituting a substantive experience with more latitude if classes aren’t slotted into pre-defined Minors. Isn’t Wes about defining yourself and not letting someone else do it for you?

  8. The Producer

    I agree wholeheartedly. You can get the same educational experience with or without calling part of it a Minor. The truth of it is, you can make a case for your coursework constituting a substantive experience with more latitude if classes aren’t slotted into pre-defined Minors. Isn’t Wes about defining yourself and not letting someone else do it for you?

  9. Mad Joy

    I like that Wesleyan doesn’t have minors, for several reasons:- it means that there isn’t tremendous pressure to do something more than a single major. At other schools, having a single major without even a minor is often looked down upon. Here, most people see it as legitimate to not double major.- it means that major requirements are more relaxed. Right now, because we don’t offer minors and try to make it reasonably easy to complete a double major, requirements are much less stringent than at most other schools. If we created minors, then instead of needing 9 or 10 classes for most majors (sorry science folk, you’re already screwed), suddenly you might be needing 14 or 15.- to be honest, I don’t see a need for the idea of a “minor.” Either you’ve taken enough classes in a subject area to gain some sort of breadth of expertise for the discipline, or… you dabble in what interests you, and don’t need to legitimize it in the form of a degree. If you take six classes in a subject, grad schools are still going to see that and understand that you have a significant amount of knowledge in that area. We don’t need to sink into the bad habit of credentialism.

  10. Mad Joy

    I like that Wesleyan doesn’t have minors, for several reasons:

    – it means that there isn’t tremendous pressure to do something more than a single major. At other schools, having a single major without even a minor is often looked down upon. Here, most people see it as legitimate to not double major.

    – it means that major requirements are more relaxed. Right now, because we don’t offer minors and try to make it reasonably easy to complete a double major, requirements are much less stringent than at most other schools. If we created minors, then instead of needing 9 or 10 classes for most majors (sorry science folk, you’re already screwed), suddenly you might be needing 14 or 15.

    – to be honest, I don’t see a need for the idea of a “minor.” Either you’ve taken enough classes in a subject area to gain some sort of breadth of expertise for the discipline, or… you dabble in what interests you, and don’t need to legitimize it in the form of a degree. If you take six classes in a subject, grad schools are still going to see that and understand that you have a significant amount of knowledge in that area. We don’t need to sink into the bad habit of credentialism.

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