Minor Guidelines

 

I. Organizational Principles for a Minor:

  • A minor ordinarily consists of 15-18 credit hours in courses within a single department (or in multiple departments) that provide a student with a coherent program of study within a given discipline (for example, history or religion or mathematics), in a branch of a given discipline (for example, creative writing), or in an area that crosses disciplinary boundaries (for example, environmental studies).
  • A department may propose separate and multiple minors within its discipline (for example, separate minors in theater, visual arts, and music, within the Department of Fine Arts).
  • At least three of the credit hours required to fulfill a minor must be at the 300 or 400 level.
  • A department or departments proposing a minor decide-subject to the approval of the faculty-whether a course that satisfies a requirement in the core curriculum may also satisfy a requirement in the minor.
  • Students may not complete a minor in the discipline of their major (for example, a student may not complete both a French minor AND a French major), although a student may complete a minor with limited overlap within the major (for example, an English major may complete a creative writing minor; a history major may complete an Asian studies minor).
  • A department or departments wishing to offer a minor as a curricular option must formulate a proposal for the minor and submit it for review to the Academic Affairs Committee
  • Any proposed minor consisting of courses in more than one department must be submitted jointly by all departments whose courses are included in the proposal.

 

II. Procedures for Proposing a Minor:

            A department or departments wishing to offer a minor must formulate a proposal that includes the following:

  • A detailed description of the new minor, including a complete list of the courses and other requirements (for example, a research project, an internship, a thesis) included in the minor. The description of the minor must address the items listed under "Organizational Principles for a Minor."
  • A detailed rationale for the new minor, including
    • a detailed explanation of the importance of the minor within the department or departments proposing the minor. How will adding a minor enrich student learning and broaden curricular options? More specifically, how will a minor in the discipline benefit students who are not majoring in the discipline? If the proposed minor is interdisciplinary, what benefits accrue to students from this cross-disciplinary study? (Note: for interdisciplinary minors, all departments involved must address this question.)
    • a detailed explanation of the value of the minor to the College's liberal arts curriculum generally. For example, is the minor likely to be a valuable correlate of existing majors (for example, a physics major and an astronomy minor, or an economics major and an environmental studies minor, or a philosophy major and a rhetoric minor)? How does the addition of the minor contribute to the College's mission of creating good men and good citizens?
    • a detailed explanation of the staffing implications of the proposed minor, both for a department's own offerings within its major and for a department's ability to contribute more generally to the core curriculum (that is, to the Rhetoric Program or Western Culture Program but also to the core curriculum as a whole). If staffing within a department or in the College more generally will be affected by the addition of a minor, the nature of such anticipated changes must be addressed explicitly. If the proposed minor requires course work in more than one department, the staffing implications in each department must be addressed.
    • a brief but specific statement about whether sufficient research materials and technology for the minor are available in the Bortz Library, in the department itself, in the College as a whole, or through online sources.
    • a detailed set of overall goals and learning objectives that make clear both the overarching purpose of the minor and the expected outcome of a student's completing the minor. A department proposing a minor is encouraged to contact the chair of the assessment committee for aid in constructing a set of goals, as well as examples of existing goals and objectives for other minors.
    • a clear and detailed plan for assessing whether and to what extent students meet the goals and objectives of the minor, as well as for whether the minor as constituted can deliver on what it promises.
  • Once the proposal is formulated and approved by the department or departments involved in it, the proposal must be submitted to the Academic Affairs Committee for review.

Contingent on the approval of the Academic Affairs Committee, the proposal will be placed on the agenda of an upcoming faculty meeting as an amendable motion. If approved, a new minor will be implemented in the academic year following its approval.