‘Electing’ the Best Electives for You

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Ceramics class, one of BJU's popular electives

One of the unique aspects of a liberal arts education at Bob Jones University is the number of elective courses available, which vary from program to program.

Don’t Waste Your Electives

Journalism and Mass Communication division head Kathryn Gamet advises 28 JMC students. When a student has elective courses available, she talks with the student about their interests and life goals and what path they want to take with their major. “I was thankful I had good advisors, both at school and from parents that said ‘Don’t waste your electives,’ ” Gamet said.

Gamet encourages her students to take more classes in their program, which beefs up their skills. Or, if students don’t want to minor but are interested in a specific area, she recommends students look for a specific focus outside of their respective program and take nine credits in that specific focus. “It’s not wrong to take one course, but one course doesn’t always get you what you need,” Gamet said.

When students take nine credits, they are able to acquire skills and grow in a different area.

Gamet often recommends her students take political science or sports management courses for electives as they pair  well with journalism. For her more creative students, she recommends graphic design or photography courses. When a student is interested in running their own business, she steers them toward business management courses.

Spend Electives on Your Interests

Freshman advisor Phil Adams advises School of Fine Arts and Communication students as well as School of Religion freshmen, roughly 170 students in total. Adams likens electives to a bank account. “You can spend (electives) how you want to,” Adams said. “But it’s foolish to dabble in 10 different areas and just get this superficial knowledge.”

Adams advises students to pursue their interests in electives. The majority of courses at BJU can be taken as electives. “It’s funny, a lot of students come in and think there’s a category called electives, but in reality, almost any class we offer is potentially an elective for somebody,” he said.

See Also: Choosing a Program from the End Goal

Adams typically recommends courses such as Business Spreadsheet Analysis or concentrations in business or religion. For students in programs with a heavy emphasis on soft skills, such as communication, he advises students to take classes that will teach them hard skills, such as business or computer science.

Importance of Electives

Electives can also serve as a much-needed break from your program. “It’s nice to be able to get away from (your program) and go study something that’s completely unrelated to what you’re studying. It does a good job rounding you out,” Adams said.

“You know God has created us all as individuals, and I love that,” Gamet said. “And He has given us all unique talents and desires. If we don’t give people electives, it’s like creating the same person over and over again, and we don’t want that.”