Once you have chosen your major, you’ll see that there are a number of courses you are required to take. But what about all those optional classes? Your degree is intended to give you a well-rounded education so schools leave space in the curriculum for studies that will teach you more than just your major. This is a great way to explore a little bit about other fields and enrich your learning experience. As you progress through your courses, you may discover more about what you love to learn so don’t try to choose all of your electives at once. However, a bit of advance planning can help you get the most out of your elective courses.
Take a look at the range of elective courses your school offers and try to get a few that span different disciplines. For students taking very challenging majors such as engineering, it can be tempting to take electives that sound easy . If you really need to keep a high grade point average, this may not be a bad idea, as long as you know what you’re getting into first. A seemingly easy class might have a large amount of reading and essay assignments, so it may not actually give you the academic break you’re looking for. Always check if a course syllabus is available first so you can get an idea of the workload.
Your elective courses can also support your major, even though they are not required. Consider taking a writing course, if available. It will not only help you get better grades on written assignments but the skills taught will be an asset in almost any career path you choose. Soft skills attained through disciplines such as philosophy and humanities can help you understand your core studies by teaching you new ways to see the world and how it relates to your field.
Some schools offer the option of obtaining a minor to complement your major. While the number of courses required may vary, usually you will need approximately ten classes from one department to qualify. A minor is a great way to explore elective courses that you enjoy and graduate with a greater depth of knowledge in that area.
It’s important to remember that earning a degree is more than just preparing for a career. Think of it as a great way to explore the world through learning. You should finish your degree with a deep understanding of one subject, but also as a well-rounded and well-read individual. Chose electives that support your main area of study but keep in mind that education is also its own reward.