Finding a minor that is both interesting and worthwhile can be difficult. However, some students have to face an unfortunate reality when they finally decide on a minor. Some colleges offer minors that are exclusive to specific colleges or academic departments, which can present a problem for students hoping to add diversity to their degree with a minor that is drastically different from their major.
Exclusive minors can present many issues for students. The reasoning behind such minors is often related to allowing students to focus on something specific within their major. For example, some business colleges and departments offer a nonprofit or sports management minor specific to business students. This allows students interested in these areas to gain some experience and knowledge focused on these more specialized fields. However, students who are not enrolled in such majors are unable to take classes or declare these minors.
Some academic departments restrict their minors because classes within the minor require a great deal of specific knowledge and prerequisite courses. Sometimes, taking all of the course prerequisites takes more credit hours than the completion of the minor would require. However, limiting which students are able to declare minors seems to defeat the purpose of the minor itself.
Taking a minor is a way for many students to take classes and gain experience in areas unfamiliar to them. Many students are able to try new things and explore interests outside their majors by declaring a minor. However, when minors are restricted to certain students, it becomes much more difficult for students to expand their skill sets.
Colleges and universities ultimately limit their students when they create minors that are only available to a smaller group. Students are unable to discover and cultivate new interests if they are unable to enroll in classes that they find exciting or useful. Minors are often a way for students to explore interests in a situation with lower stakes, but students sometimes expand their minor to a major. If students are unable to take classes in some minors, they may not be able to find a major that would best fit their interests.
Taking classes in different disciplines can be helpful for many students. However, when schools limit the classes and minors available to students, they limit the possibilities for students on their campus.