The Communication and Media Studies Department has decided to eliminate the minor requirement for all Communications majors. This change is effective immediately for incoming freshmen and current majors.
The minor requirement for Communication and Media Studies majors was initially implemented in an effort to control the influx of Communication majors. According to Professor Lance Strate, Associate Chair of the Communications Department, the requirement was put in place when the department had between 800 and 1,000 students majoring in Communications with less than twenty faculty members.
“A minor requirement seemed preferable to raising the GPA required for the minor to, say, 3.0, or trying to use some other method of screening out potential majors,” stated Strate.
Additionally, the department believed that certain minors would be valuable to the popular major.
The primary reason the minor requirement was eliminated was because many students had trouble completing their major and minor requirements in a timely manner. As a result, students were left with very few opportunities for the intellectual exploration that the liberal arts education is known to promote.
Incoming and undecided students had a particularly hard time completing all requirements. Melissa Yeagley, Associate Academic Advisor for student athletes, said “students who may be unsure of what they want to major in may burn through some of their electives, putting them at a disadvantage when they are choosing a minor.” If these electives do not fall into the category of their ultimate major and/or minor, students find themselves in a difficult position, in terms of completing both major and minor requirements on time.
In addition to the hardships many students found in completing the major and minor requirements on time for graduation, the minor requirement was also eliminated to make studying abroad and having internships more plausible options for Communications majors. By freeing up some of the requirements, students are allowed more flexibility with their schedules, making these options more reasonable.
Although some Communication and Media Studies majors may choose to drop their minors or never pick one up, Jacqueline Reich, Chair of the Communication and Media Studies department, highly recommends that students continue to pursue minors.
“I encourage students to pursue their passions that might not be necessarily connected to the core or to their major and embrace the spirit of liberal arts that Fordham embodies,” said Reich.
Minoring not only adds value to a major, but can also serve as an advantage in the job market. Department reps stress the removal of the requirement was not intended to dissuade students from tackling minors.
No additions have been made to the Communications major requirements as of yet. But, according to Strate, the Communications curriculum is under review, and, eventually, alterations will be made to the requirements for the major.
“What they will be I cannot say at this point, although there is interest in adding a research methods requirement, but that remains to be seen,” explained Strate, “Changes to our major requirements may not necessarily mean that there will be more requirements than there already are, they just may be different.”