Wed. evening, Jan. 28, the Academic Affairs committee moved that the UMW College of Arts and Sciences allow academic apartments to offer minors to undergraduate students. Minors will be offered starting in the fall of 2010, with the first minors appearing on transcripts of the 2011 graduating class.
Minors will be optional, and departments will not be required to offer a minor. Minors will be subject to the same declaration and approval process as majors. They will consist of between 15 and 28 credits, with at least three upper level classes required. Students will not be able to declare a minor until they have declared a major.
Information about specific minors can be obtained from the appropriate department once the program has been implemented.
The Academic Affairs committee discussed plans to vote on the movement last semester, but concerns by smaller departments over funding and the wording of the motion led to a delay.
The rationale released by the committee acknowledged the concern over smaller departments losing students or funding, stating:
“We do not believe that any department would be eliminated as a result of implementing minors.”
The University’s lack of minors has been a source of student debate for years, and response to the new option seems to be largely popular.
“I’m excited because I can get credit for my other academic interests,” said sophomore Erin Burke.
Minor programs are offered at other Virginia state public universities, including the College of William and Mary, Longwood University, and Christopher Newport University. The Academic Affairs committee cited competition for admissions, response to student demands, and educational benefits as rationale for approving the program.