Making the most of your electives!

One of the best things about a college education is that you have more control and flexibility in the classes that you take. While most degree programs will require certain classes, there are often electives included as degree requirements.  Electives are courses that complement your degree program and can be something you want to learn about just because it interests you! Electives can allow you to explore a new hobby (like ballroom dancing) or learn new skills and abilities that may be valuable for your future career (like a public speaking course).

At Tech, electives are broken up into three different categories:

  • Major electives – expand on your major or concentration
  • General education electives – include the humanities, fine arts, social sciences, and behavioral sciences
  • Free electives – aren’t required for your major and aren’t general education electives

When selecting your courses and deciding which electives you may want to take during the next semester, here are some things to remember:

  1. Electives after required courses. Each degree’s path has a unique curriculum, but all curriculum will flow from general education requirements and electives to major requirements and electives to free electives. Make sure to finish up those general courses and any prerequisites before starting major-specific and free electives to minimize any issues in the future.
  2. Focus on your specific discipline. The major-specific electives are there to help you develop a deeper understanding of your discipline. These electives typically go with your concentration and become more specific to help you reach your career goals. Pay close attention to your degree’s curriculum and which classes will count as major-specific electives.
  3. Think about your interests and strengths. Incorporating a class that is based on your personal interests can provide you with a better learning experience, or consider a course that will benefit you in your career path. From physical education to cultural studies, Tech offers a wide variety of free electives to meet every student’s interest.
  4. Make the most of your academic advisement meeting. These important meetings allow you to discuss your options and receive input on your schedule from a professional. They may have alternative ideas that will better prepare you for future classes and your future career. 

When it comes to electives, it’s also important to keep in mind the Course Program of Study requirement. Course Program of Study (CPOS) is a federal requirement that only allows courses that count toward a declared major/minor be considered when determining eligibility for financial aid. Always make sure to consult your academic advisor to determine if your elective selections fall within the CPOS requirements.