HASS minors increase:
Almost 200 sophomores declare this year
By Chris Schechter
Nearly 200 sophomores have declared minors in the School of Humanities and Social Science, according to Ruth Spear, coordinator of the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.
This is a substantial increase from the Class of 1989, when only 55 students chose HASS minors. Spear said she had expected this increase, and attributed it
to tremendous promotion on the part of HASS departments.
Spear added that she would be comfortable accommodating the 25 percent of the undergraduate population that is expected to participate in the minor program.
The HASS minor program, which began in the fall of 1988, typically requires that students complete six subjects in their field of study, as well as three other HASS or architecture subjects.
Spear said that economics is the most popular minor, with 69 students currently enrolled. Music and sociology attracted 39 and 37, respectively. Literature ranks fourth with a total of 30 students. Political science and writing are the fifth and sixth most popular fields, with 22 applicants each.
Course 6 has 39 students in minor programs, the most of any department. Course 2 is second, with 28 students enrolled in
the program. With 23 students, Course 7 ranks third, preceding Course 15 and Course 18, which each have 11 students in minor programs. Course 14 and 4 have nine HASS minors each.
Eileen P. Murray, senior secretary for the School of Humanities and Social Science, felt that interest in a subject and the desire to get a better job influence students' decisions to take a minor. Although there is no evidence that a minor provides any advantage on the job market, career considerations remain the main incentive, she felt.
However, Murray believed in minoring as an end in itself. "It broadens a student's knowledge in different areas, and prepares them better for the world," she said.
Two new minors, film and media studies and history of the arts and literature, were added to the original list of 17 last year.
A minor in East Asian studies might also be added, depending on the success of Chinese language courses that may begin next fall, according to Professor Philip S. Khoury, acting dean of the School of Humanities and Social Science. "East Asian studies will be most probably be offered in two years," he said.
Besides East Asian studies, the possibility of any new minors in the near future appears to be slim. The impetus for new minors does not originate from students, but rather from the quality of the faculty, Khoury said.
"We target the department which has enough depth of knowledge to offer a first-class program in a certain field of study," he said.