A Minor Change

Beginning in the 2017–18 academic year and for the first time since 1929, Carleton will offer minors. At the recommendation of the Education and Curriculum Committee (ECC), the faculty voted in January to rename interdisciplinary concentrations and advanced certificates in language study “minors,” and to allow departments to introduce a minor in addition to a major. While existing offerings can keep their current requirements, new ones will fit a more standardized structure: six to eight courses that move from introductory to advanced, but without the intensive integrative exercise associated with a major.

“We’ve seen an increase in double majors at Carleton,” says Beth McKinsey, ECC chair and the Maxine H. and Winston R. Wallin Professor of American Studies and English. “We thought students might be interested in choosing a minor—if that option were available—instead of double majoring. It allows students to showcase significant work outside their major clearly on their transcripts.”

“More than a decade ago, when the ECC last considered minors, a plurality of our peers didn’t have them, but today the vast majority of them do,” says ECC committee member Moses Misplon ’17 (Franklin, Wis.). “So we were able to learn a lot from studying those programs, in addition to surveying our own faculty members and students. This won’t be a dramatic change, but it offers departments and students more freedom.”

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