New Minors Await Approval for Science and Engineering Majors
Minors to allow students to learn without stress of double major
October 13, 2005 7:50 PM
The Academic Senate at SF State approved four new minors to offer science and engineering majors new educational options and opportunities.
The minors, which have yet to be approved by the president of the university, consist of mechanical, electrical, civil and computer engineering.
Because engineering majors require intense coursework, these minors would allow students to learn about different types of engineering without the stress of a double-major. The minors consist of about 21 units each, not including prerequisites in certain lower-division math and science courses.
“(This) should have been done earlier,” said Shy-Shenq Liou, director of the School of Engineering. Liou said that since 1987, SF State has offered bachelor degrees in the three core factions of engineering. In 2003, a degree in computer engineering was implemented.
The prerequisites are geared toward current science, math and engineering students. They consist of courses from calculus, physics, chemistry, linear algebra and computer science.
The idea of engineering minors sounded "awesomely amazing" to Daniel Marcus, a junior mechanical engineering major.
Marcus, 20, said he understands the importance of knowing different factions of engineering.
"It is a very 'hands on' field, and to a certain degree almost guarantees a job upon graduating," he said.
Although Marcus said he thinks it may be difficult for the average student to connect two types of engineering, it would grant a student the opportunity to take different classes and figure out which type they're most interested in.
According to Liou, if a civil engineering major chooses another type of engineering as a minor, it will show up on their transcript.
"(Students can) integrate the programs and it can have additional advantages," he said. "For example, a physics major can choose mechanical engineering to give them high-tech industry experience. It gives the student leverage."
As of fall 2004, there were 626 engineering students enrolled at SF State, according to a campus census. Over 200 students majored in electrical engineering and 154 students chose civil engineering.
“I chose (engineering) because I’ve always been great at math and science, and I love to build and fix things and see how they work,” said Joyce Edey, 19.
Edey, a sophomore civil engineering major, said she might choose mechanical engineering if the minors are approved. She said she knows that it would allow her a broader range of job options for the future, and “it wouldn’t be too much extra work.”
The minor is only 21 units, and many of the science and engineering majors may already have the prerequisites.
According to Liou, “if (the student) is graduating in the spring with the prerequisites cleared, they can start the minor now."
Also, Liou noted that courses can overlap from their major, which would help them complete the minor. The School of Engineering can officially offer the minor after it has been signed, and if they are approved this semester, students can start with the units they already have.
Sung Hu, associate dean of the College of Science of Engineering, said that because the Academic Senate approved the minors, it is highly likely that the university president or vice president will approve them as well.
"The different types of majors are better in terms of students who are interested in different types of engineering," Hu said. In the past few years, students have expressed interest in different types of engineering. He said he thinks that the minors will allow engineering students the chance to explore those options.
He added that it grants non-engineering majors, especially physics and applied math students, the opportunity to learn about the subject without the full-scale major.
Liou recommends the minors to "anyone who's interested," noting that it's a great option for science majors who have taken extensive math and science courses. To non-science majors, he suggests stopping by his office for more information.
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