Minors are an optional addition to a degree, requiring fewer semester hours than a major or a certificate. A minor usually consists of five courses of around 15 semester hours, with a majority of the coursework upper-level, with upper-level as defined by the offering unit.
Most minors having their administrative home in a single department, but some are interdisciplinary and draw on courses from other departments and programs.
Detailed information on each minor is published in the University General Catalog under the offering academic program. Always consult the Catalog rather than a website for the official requirements for any major, minor, or certificate since the degree audit is built on the requirements in the Catalog.
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences does not approve selective admission minors.
Modifying an Existing Minor
Departments may make smaller changes to a minor without consulting the College if completed in time for the yearly update of the General Catalog. As for any change in curricular requirements, students graduate under the requirements in place when they declared the academic program rather than fulfilling the new requirements unless they choose to do so. Departments making curricular changes are obligated to inform students of this fact.
If modifications are considered significant to the minor, a visit to UEPCC may be required. Please consult with the Office of the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education early in the process. Likewise, any changes to titles of certificates are considered significant and should be approved by the Associate Dean before entered into the Catalog in order to update the UI community on the change and to give Admissions and other offices time to update related sites or handouts.
Proposing a New Minor
A proposal for a new minor addresses many of the same points as a proposal for a new major; please also see those pages for information. For example, letters of support from an appropriate source in some cases are important and then should be included with the proposal. Please confer with the related associate dean on the matter.
Guidelines for students wishing to earn minors are in the Academic Policies Handbook. All proposed new minors must adhere to these standards and should be included in the proposal as follows:
- Students must earn a grade point average of at least 2.00 in all work attempted as part of the minor.
- No course taken Pass/Nonpass may be used as part of a minor.
- Courses graded S/F may be used at the discretion of the offering department or program.
Also note these important points for earning the minor that must be considered with proposing any new minor:
- A degree may not include a major and a minor in the same area (e.g., a student cannot earn a BS in psychology with a minor in psychology).
- A degree may not include two minors in the same area.
- A degree may not include a minor and a certificate in the same area.
- The fact that MyUI allows a student to declare a particular minor does not mean that it is valid with the major (see rules above).
In order for a minor to be officially included on the student's transcript, the student must do the following by the required graduation application. Please remind students of this fact when advising them about adding a new minor.
- Review the degree audit with an academic advisor or with the department or program offering the minor to make sure all requirements are completed.
- When filing a degree application through MyUI, the student must indicate that a minor has been completed.
- Departments proposing a new minor must first discuss the rationale for the proposal with the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education who will decide on a course of action.
- After such a consultation and after a final review of the finished proposal for compliance with CLAS policy and procedures, the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education will place the proposal on the agenda of the Undergraduate Educational Policy and Curriculum Committee (UEPCC).
- If the UEPCC recommends approval, the proposal will be placed on the agenda of the Faculty Assembly.
- If the Faculty Assembly recommends approval, the Dean of the College will determine when to forward the recommended proposal to the Provost who will make the final decision concerning approval of the minor.
- Approval for a new minor by the Regents is not required. However, any new courses created for the minor must be reported on the annual report of curricular trends. If a minor is expanded into a major, the new major must be approved by the Regents, with all of the appropriate forms and letters of recommendations submitted.
- The approval process for a minor may take more than four months and departments are advised to begin it as soon as feasible, and generally in the spring semester a year before the anticipated implementation of the new program.
- Any changes in the curriculum must be completed in time for the yearly update of the General Catalog.
- New academic programs may not be advertised or included in a website or in the General Catalog until full approval has been received at each level needed.
- New minors (as with new majors or certificates or other new programs of study) are only implemented for a fall semester, with students able to declare the new major, minor, or certificate on the first day of a fall semester, allowing time for the new degree audit to be built from the information added in the Catalog, with the Catalog pubished as well before students may declare the minor.
Discontinuing a Minor
Departments considering the discontinuation of a minor must discuss the rationale with the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education who will recommend a course of action.
If the Associate Dean recommends the discontinuation of the minor, the department must submit such a proposal to Undergraduate Educational Policy Committee and Curriculum Committee (UEPCC).
If the Undergraduate Educational Policy Committee and Curriculum Committee (UEPCC) recommends approval, the proposal will move to the Faculty Assembly and then to the Provost as determined by the Dean of the College for consideration. As of Fall 2009, final approval of the discontinuation of a minor by the Regents is not required.
The department must decide upon a reasonable date after which a discontinued minor will no longer be granted. This is traditionally four years from the first day of the fall semester following the approval of the proposal to eliminate the minor. Students must be clearly notified of this sunset date, both on the departmental website and in the General Catalog. Requirements for the minor should be maintained in the Catalog, with a warning on this final deadline, until that date has passed. This information must be clearly stated in the proposal for discontinuing the minor.