A case against “major/minor only” course enrollments

Spring semester registration at the University of Delaware starts this week. And because I love doing scheduling and planning I could not wait to open up that spreadsheet I made Freshman year that detailed my coursework for all 4 years of college and see how on track I was.

As someone with a very strict course map for her major and two completely different minors outside of the business college, having a guide to work by is absolutely necessary. I figured out that I could finish both my major and two minors perfectly taking 5 classes each semester with no wiggle room. Well, things changed when I was able to take two classes over a winter session and study abroad for credit.

I now have two spots for business-related electives and two free spots to take any elective I want.

Except not really.

I threw around a lot of ideas – entrepreneurship classes, non-profit management classes, database management classes, sociology classes, women’s studies classes. But as I looked up the requirements and prerequisites, I saw a lot of these classes were reserved for majors or minors only, even if they were introductory level. Everyone I’ve talked to suggests that could get into those classes and do the minor as well. Trust me, if I could I would add approximately 10,000 more minors to my degree, but I’m not that crazy. As much as I wish I were Hermione Granger, I don’t have a Time Turner that allows me to have an impossible schedule.

I really don’t like that some of the University’s policies prevent students from taking classes outside of their discipline. I want to take these classes because I believe they will be a benefit as someone who wants to run her own society improving start up one day. I’m not a school to earn a grade, I’m here to learn something that I can use later on in life. Why must a student jump through hoops to be able to expand their knowledge to include other topics?

I understand that the school needs to be able to guarantee that those who need to be in the classes will get them, but why restrict them from the rest of the student body completely?

With that being said, I chose Introduction to Entrepreneurship as my elective for this spring. There’s only 20 spots so I hope I can into the class. Fingers crossed!

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7 thoughts on “A case against “major/minor only” course enrollments

  1. I hear you! I think the broader the education, the better off we all are. I rememebr arguing with my advisor more than30 years ago about this as I wanted to take languages, history, English lit and writing classes for my electives. He thought I should take econ, stats and more business courses. For the most part, I held out and he signed. And guess what – the earth did not spin the other way, I graduated, and in 30 years no one has cared what my electives were. But I still know those languages, remember the books I read, and the history I learned. Go figure.

    • Great to know that our education system hasn’t changed since then. :/
      I think a huge problem for me personally is that I have so many interests that I wouldn’t even mind taking Econ or more business courses but that sometimes those classes are restricted to only Econ or certain business functions, etc.

      • But where better to explore these interests than in college??? I wish you luck in getting into some of them, who knows, maybe you will change a minor after all! :-)

      • Haha I have two minors: math and asian studies. I’m pretty diversified already and I just can’t bring myself to drop a minor that i’m so close to completing.

      • It was only half a joke…. :-) Maybe you will discover something that you want to go for a masters degree… promise them you will consider it if they will just let you into the class. :-)

  2. When I was signing up for classes, an adviser of mine gave me a way to take a class that requires a minor in that field even if I am not a minor in that field. I wanted to take an art class; just for fun, not to learn extensive techniques, but all of my university’s art classes required that the students have at least a minor in art, due to the high demand. But, my adviser said that I could write art as a minor and then take the class because I am now in that field (and because I wanted to), and then after the semester is over, remove art as a minor because I do not want a minor in art. This may be considered cheating and my adviser was hesitant in telling me about it, but you could very likely be able to do this, since universities tend to work similarly in these matters. Hope that helps and I hope you are able to take the classes you want. AND, SUCCEED IN MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE!!

    All the best,

    Straw Hat Luffy

    • Luffy! It’s been a while since you’ve commented. I thought you disappeared haha.

      My roommate suggested the same thing, but I’m happy with the schedule I have planned. I’m actually going to register for my classes in 4 minutes! Maybe next semester :)

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