Each academic unit in the University may, at its discretion, offer formal academic minors. The University does not require that an academic program unit offer a minor or that its students take a minor. Minors will be described in the catalog and identified on the student’s transcript in the same manner that majors are identified. If a department requires a concentration of courses in a secondary area and that concentration is not a formal minor, then the department should refer to this group of courses as an ‘area of emphasis’ rather than a ‘minor’ in order to avoid confusion.
A minor formally recognizes strategic work in an area of study and thus encourages students to pursue a secondary field. The opportunity to earn a formal minor or minors may encourage students to organize what has been elective work into more coherent focus areas; the posting of those minors to students’ transcripts will better communicate focus areas of the student’s academic career. Such program options should prove appealing to both students and departments. A formal academic minor could enhance the attractiveness of graduates on the job market, help in student recruitment and retention, and provide another measure of productivity for academic units in addition to the number of majors.
Requirements for a minor are set by the academic unit offering the minor and must include at least fifteen hours of course work, with a minimum of nine hours at the upper division level (course numbers 300 or above). Units offering a minor may require specific courses and/or may require a minimum performance standard for courses taken to fulfill minor requirements (e.g., "a GPA of 2.0 across courses counted toward the minor is required" or "a grade of ‘C’ or higher must be earned in all courses counted toward the minor"). Courses in the minor may not be taken pass/fail.
Students may not earn a minor in the same field as their major. Students completing the MDS degree may not earn a minor in the same field as any of their MDS concentration areas. Courses required for completion of the student’s major may be applied to completion of a minor so long as that minor is not in the same field (i.e., offered by the same academic unit) as the major. Courses required for completion of one minor may be applied to completion of a second minor should such requirements overlap.
Students majoring in World Languages may complete a foreign language minor that is not in the same area of emphasis as their major.
The establishment of academic minors does not change the College of Arts and Sciences policy that no more than forty-two hours in one department subject and no more than sixty hours from a department with more than one subject may be counted toward the minimum hours required for graduation.
Procedures for Declaring and Completing a Minor
Students declare minors once they enter their major fields of study. The following steps should be followed to assure that completion of a minor is appropriately recognized and posted to the student’s transcript:
- A student interested in completing a minor (or minors) works with his or her major advisor to incorporate minor requirements into schedule planning. Students are welcome to consult with advisors in the minor department. Students who wish to complete a minor in music, women’s studies, leadership studies, or ROTC must work directly with advisors for those programs.
- Complete an Academic Status Update Form with their advisor.
- When completing the Application for Graduation, the student indicates the minor(s) for which certification is requested.
- The student’s major advisor/major college advisement office certifies that all minor requirements have been completed and reports both major and minor certifications to the Office of the University Registrar on the Tentative Graduation form. Women’s studies and music minors are certified by those programs.
Note: Minors are only awarded at the time of the conferral of a baccalaureate degree.
Requirements for academic minors are set by the department offering the minor. Substitutions may not be made without written approval of the minor department. Courses in the minor may not be taken pass/fail. A student may not complete a minor in his or her major field. (For rules concerning minors that are part of the multidisciplinary studies degree, see: http://mds.wvu.edu/ ).
Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design
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Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
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College of Business and Economics
College of Creative Arts
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Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
College of Education and Human Services
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School of Journalism
College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences
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