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Communication Studies

Formal Minor Requirement

Why is there a minor requirement for CMST Majors?

The Communication Studies faculty have carefully designed the major, to include a Formal Minor Requirement, because a minor can enhance and expand CMST majors’ knowledge, skills, and experiences, in beneficial ways that can improve achievement and expand post-graduation opportunities. Additionally, Communication Studies majors have the time and room in their unit totals to achieve a minor within a 4 or 2-year graduation plan. By using what would be random elective units more strategically to earn a minor, the student efficiently gains many benefits. 

The information below will address:

  • The Benefits from completing a Minor,
  • How to Complete a Minor,
  • How to Select a minor and build the requirements into your course planning.

Lastly, Minors selected by recent CMST graduates shows how many different options there are to enhance and expand your learning.

A Formal Minor refers to a focused area of study in an academic unit, identified as a minor with requirements in the catalog. There are also GE Pathway Minors, which are interdisciplinary and completed as part of lower and upper division GE requirements. As there is no additional study areas to those already required, it is not a Formal (or additional) Minor, it is already included in GE. As an interdisciplinary minor, it does not focus one area with depth, but rather includes multiple approaches to a thematic area.

The CMST Faculty strongly encourage students to pursue a Formal Minor, earning all the benefits and avoiding the disadvantages; however, GE Minors can be used to meet the Minor Requirement, just be sure to avoid the problems noted below./p>

What are the benefits to a formal minor?

There are serious benefits to earning the Formal Minor:

  • A typical CMST Major, after completing all GE and Major requirements may still need up to 15-20 units of electives; focusing these into a Minor is a much more strategic use of your time and resources
  • The broadly applied Communication Studies degree, paired with a Formal Minor, is an excellent combination to prepare for post-graduation goals, such as a specific profession, graduate school, or other path
  • An additional area of study highlights your ability to learn and achieve in several areas and expands the applicability of your skills and experiences
  • An additional area of study leads to more qualifications and varied experiences, that can be reflected in a resume, application, or in an interview
  •  The Formal Minor will distinguish you from other college graduates and can demonstrate your varied interests and strengths

Can a formal minor be completed in 2 or 4 years with my major? YES!

The Communication Studies faculty support our majors in their graduation goals, both in terms of the length of time and quality of time spent on your degree. 

As can be seen on our 4-year MAPS (Major Academic Plans, CMPA and ORGC) the Formal Minor in clearly included with all required courses for your degree. Whether one is a freshman, a continuing student changing their major, or a transfer student, the Formal Minor can be completed in a typical 4 or 2-year schedule, if you maintain a full-time schedule each semester. 

Students can use the GE Pathway Minor; however, they must realize it comes with several disadvantages:

  • This option was not designed for transfer students, as your lower division may not fit into a Pathway, requiring you to take additional GE classes which is regressive learning, and not advised.
  • You lose out on the Benefits notes above in a Formal Minor

Whether a 4 year or 2-year plan, using the GE Pathway Minor will likely not meet all their unit requirements for graduation, as you are not completing any additional units, thus requiring additional electives to be taken (both lower and upper division). If students do not pay close attention to their unit counts, this could delay graduation.

How do I start in selecting a minor?

Here are some suggestions to help you start your Minor selection process:

Consider Areas of Study that will impact your post-graduation goals.

Minors can provide you a specific area of study that enhances and expands the Communication Studies degree, which is considered a broad major that is applicable to many areas.

  • If you want to add General Business Related knowledge and skills, consider the Minors in Management, Business Administration, Entrepreneurship, etc.
  • If you want to seek employment in a Specific Area of Business or Profession, consider minors such as Marketing, Business and Information Management Systems, Journalism, Public Relations, Psychology, etc.
  • If you think you might want to work in a Specific Industry, the consider minors that relate, such as Recreation Administration, Tourism, and Hospitality, Managing for Sustainability, Agricultural Business, Coaching, Sport Performance, Criminal Justice, etc.

Think about Areas of Study you have interest in and would like to pursue.

When you study what you are interested in, you tend to do better, and that leads to good GPAs and more satisfaction, better for resumes and graduate school applications

  • Was there another major you considered, what about pursuing that as a minor?
  • Is there another area you’ve discovered in GE classes that interests you, maybe there is a minor in that area.
  • Other Areas of Interest might include: Political Science, International Relations, Economics, Literature, English, Anthropology, Music, Spanish or other Languages, etc.

Worried about graduating on time? Got a late start? Consider more practical choices.

  • Did you start a different major, but changed to Communication Studies?
    • Consider using those courses to complete a minor in that area.
  • Did you take courses in GE that were interesting?
    • Maybe there is a minor in that area and those courses would count.

A GE Pathway Minor may be a good choice for you, as the lack of units may not be a problem; but be sure you do not have to regress and retake lower division courses, while also ensuring you will have enough units.

Top minor choices by Communication Studies majors

The vast majority of Communication Studies majors select Formal Minors, from many different areas, and graduate successfully.

Spring 2017 – Of all CMST seniors

    • 72% complete Formal Minors with 27 different Minor Choices
  • Top Three Choices: Marketing, Public Relations, Psychology

Spring 2016 - Of all CMST seniors

    • 82% complete Formal Minors with 27 different Minor Choices
  • Top Three Choices: Marketing, Psychology, Management

All Formal Minor Choices

  • Agriculture Business
  • Broadcasting
  • Business Administration
  • Chicano Studies
  • Coaching
  • Creative Writing
  • Criminal Justice
  • Economics
  • English
  • Environmental Studies
  • European Studies
  • Health Promotion
  • History
  • International Relations
  • Japanese
  • Journalism/Public Relations
  • Kinesiology
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Photographic Studies
  • Political Science
  • Project Management
  • Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Recreation
  • Spanish

All GE Pathway Choices

  • Diversity
  • Ethics, Justice and Policy
  • Food Sciences
  • Gender & Sexuality
  • Great Books
  • Health & Wellness
  • International Studies
  • Sustainability