Planning Your Electives

When planning your coursework, you’ll notice that in addition to taking major-specific and general education requirements, you also have other courses to choose called electives. With electives, you have freedom to customize your academic plan by choosing courses that can benefit you in a number of ways.

  • Complement your major –You can use electives to take courses from related disciplines that share themes, knowledge, and skills with your major. Such courses can deepen your understanding of your major, whether you opt for a variety of classes, or focus on a minor or certificate.

  • Exploration – If you’ve ever looked at a different discipline and thought, “I’d like to try that,” taking a course in that discipline as an elective provides you the perfect opportunity to try something new. Perhaps one class may lead to another and you might find a minor, certificate, or even second major in that area.

  • Broaden your network – Taking electives provides an opportunity to not only broaden your knowledge but also meet people. You may work with a professor or peers who can suggest career-related opportunities or research options within your major discipline. You may also find yourself speaking with someone from a different background who can give insight into a field that you had never heard of before, but you may find tremendously interesting.

  • Career/graduate school preparation – Electives also provide an opportunity for you to take additional courses that may help you with your career or graduate school aspirations. For example, if you are an Art major who hopes to work in the art therapy field, you can consider taking psychology classes to increase your understanding of personal well-being.