6 Things To Consider Before Choosing Elective Courses

Art, music, or technology? Spanish, Italian, or French?

These used to be your opinions for electives in high school, but not in college. Required for graduation are a certain number of free elective courses, and you are indeed free to choose whichever classes you wish to take.

The options of electives are so plentiful that they actually are in a multi page catalog. It can be overwhelming to search through all those course descriptions, so here are some guidelines to think about when you’re deciding:

  • Going against your major: You are going to have to take a number of electives within your major in order to meet the degree requirements so why not experience something different. If you’re a math major, take a creative writing class, or if you’re an English major take a computer science course. The shake up will be a nice breather in the midst of your same old routine work.
  • Join a friend: If a lot of your friends aren’t in your major, now is a good time to chose some classes that you can take together. This way you won’t be intimidated by group projects with strangers and you’ll have a built in study buddy. If you take a class with a friend that means some part of your schedule will likely match up, giving you someone to grab lunch with or carpool with too.
  • Pick something you’re interested in: If you are a liberal arts major, undecided, or you have a broad major but you don’t know what profession you want to get into, take a course that seems interesting but you’re unfamiliar with. You can take the content for a test drive and decide if it’s an area you want to go further with. If you think you know what you want to do when you graduate, make sure you take a course that directly relates to it. I thought I wanted to go into TV production and after taking a TV Studio Production course I realized that was definitely not the right fit for me.
  • A lighter topic: If your schedule is packed with nuclear biology courses, or Shakespeare Lit, lighten your load a little bit by taking something less intense like, a theater class, or theory course. Having less to worry about will help you better enjoy that course, and be able to put more focus on the courses that require more of your attention. This may be a good opportunity to take it as an online class too.
  • Improve your skills: Any extra skills you can put on a job resume is beneficial. Computer science, graphic arts, web design, or writing classes, look good on a resume and can give you a little head start to knowing things employers may ask you to do.
  • Fits into your schedule: The great thing about free electives is you don’t have to be restricted to taking anything at a certain time. If you know you don’t want to take an 8 am class, or you want an hour lunch break at noon, you can pick electives to fit into those wants. Instead of searching for a specific class, search for a time and a day and choose from what is offered at your desired time.

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Lisa Manente

Lisa Manente

Lisa Manente is a senior at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. She will be graduating with the BA in Media Studies and Communications in May. Editing the Entertainment section for her university’s newspaper and magazine has fueled her passion for entertainment journalism, which is the career path she plans to explore. In her free time she enjoys reading, traveling, listening to music, and catching up on celebrity gossip.