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College of Design

Sunday, November 2, 2014

So you like design...but what else?

Happy November everyone!

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I have a lot of interest in sustainability, which has lead me to include sustainability in my studies here at the U of M. So let's talk about minors!

I decided to make Sustainability Studies my minor at the end of my first year here. Being an architecture student, I have a lot of interest in green building design, efficient systems, and material studies. So it made sense to pair the Sustainability Studies minor with my architecture degree. In fact, many other architecture students feel the same way, since architecture represents the most common major within the minor.

Minors provide a great opportunity to fulfill other interests that you may have, without taking on another major. They also work out pretty well to fulfill any upper division courses outside your major that you need to graduate. Most minors are around 15+ credits. For Sustainability Studies, there are two core courses, and three elective courses. There's a large range of courses, even an architecture course (!), that you can take to knock out the elective courses. It's really a lot of fun to be able to expand your education and meet people who aren't typically in your design courses.

I'm currently taking the Sustainability Studies capstone course, or the final required course for the minor. It's really interesting because we are paired with cities around the metro area to assist in their sustainability action plans. Being able to work with real cities, rather than a fictional city, and have a real impact has been a cool experience. We will be showcasing our work to community members at the Sustainability Fair later this month.


So remember, don't feel the need to focus on only one interest if you have many! Your first year is the time to try new things!