The endless possibilities of Electives
Elective credits gave me opportunities to take a class for the pure reason that I wanted to: no requirement to fulfill. I took Education 118 during the winter of my first year, which brought to light many critical issues and disparities in the American public education system. Elective credits also gave me the space in my degree to pursue a minor (which I initially didn’t plan on or think I would have time to finish). I used some of my elective credits to take some classes in the School of Social Work for my CASC minor, including SW 300: Leadership in the Non-profit Sector, and even a graduate-level class in the School of Social Work. Some of my friends had a lot of fun with their elective credits their senior years, taking classes like Afro-cuban drumming and meditation.
LSA Graduate Class of 2011
SM 101: Public and Small Group Communications and MO 302: Positively Leading People and Organizations are both elective courses that I took outside of LSA. I learned a many tools that I know I will apply to my future one day including public speaking, building positive team morale, and how to work with a diverse group of students.
I did one of two things: I either picked something I thought would be fun and interesting (e.g. History of American Popular Music) or I picked something I thought would be useful in terms of my future career (even though I’m not a PoliSci major, I took PoliSci 101 because it seemed like a pre-law thing to do).
LSA Graduate Class of 2013
In order to use my elective credits, I decided to minor in Spanish. I chose to do so in order to hone in on the passion I had acquired for the language during coursework I had taken to complete the language requirement.
Electives are a great way to try out classes that interest you without having to commit to a major in that subject. Sometimes those elective classes spark your interest and inspire you to pursue a major or minor, but other times they may teach you that you definitely don’t want to, and that’s ok! Now that I’ve satisfied all of my LSA and major requirements, I plan to pursue some interesting classes I’ve never tried before, such as an introductory English 250: How Conversations Work.
With my elective credits, I focused on classes that were interesting and/or ones that I thought would complement my major (Physics) well. Astronomy has always been a strong interest of mine, so I decided to add a second major – Astronomy & Astrophysics. I took Math 295 & 296, the first half of the Honors Theoretical Math sequence, which was very challenging, very interesting, and gave me a great proof-based math foundation. I also took EECS 183 (Intro to Programming in C++) because of its usefulness for grad school and future research in Physics. Finally, I took Environmental Geology for no other reason than that it looked very interesting.
LSA Graduate Class of 2013
After taking a Linguistics class (LING 209 – Language and the Human Mind) on a whim in my first semester, I was fascinated by the amount of unconscious computational processes the mind undergoes in producing and comprehending language. I ended up adopting Linguistics as my second major, and using it as a supplement to my interest in philosophy of mind and social philosophy.
Seth Wolin LSA Junior