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Single Majors Are History at SNU

Posted June. 21, 2007 03:01,   


Seoul National University (SNU) will actively support integrated education by mandating students study for multiple majors, minors or any combination of the two at their discretion.

Currently, SNU offers two types of multiple major programs. The first type is a combination of a major and one or more minors within a department. The second is a combination of majors from different departments where relevant departments provide courses for registered students. With the changes, SNU students must choose one program out of the existing two and three additional programs to be offered in programs where students study more in depth within their majors, multiple interdepartmental majors, and combination of majors designed by students themselves.

SNU finalized its plans and announced on Wednesday that students entering next year and onwards will be subject to such changes if their departments decide to approve the program. Business administration and humanities departments have already pushed for enhanced multiple majors programs, responding promptly to growing emphasis on integrated education.

The new scheme will cover most students on campus taking various multiple major programs. For the last five years, the number of students taking any type of multiple major grew only by an annual average of 437.

Kim Wan-jin, the head of SNU office of academic affairs, said, “We have put in place these major changes to promote integrated and interdepartmental education and to offer students with opportunities to experience diverse academic fields.” SNU has high hopes for the multiple majors programs since they may help reduce the number of students transferring to departments in high demand in the job market, and divert students to some unpopular departments.”

As mentioned above, SNU mandated three new programs in addition to the current programs: (1) a program where students study more in depth within their majors, (2) multiple interdepartmental-majors programs, and (3) any combination of majors designed by the students themselves.

In order to encourage more students to participate in multiple majors programs, SNU decided to include the law department in the interdepartmental programs and allow non-education majors to apply for a double major in the education department as long as they take relevant courses in advance. In addition, all the students will be able to apply for the programs as the minimum GPA (2.7) for program applicants will no longer exist.

A special committee set up to deal with one of the new programs where students take interdepartmental multiple majors will consist of four or more professors from relevant departments. It will make decisions on the curriculum as well as the applicant screening process and provide various incentives to departments that decide to participate in the program.

Applicants of another new program where students themselves design their own combinations of majors must gain approval from a committee made up of three professors from departments that include the courses of the students’ choice and his or her own advisory professor. They must do so before they reach their third year at the latest.

All SNU students are required to receive 39 credits with 21 additional credits for students participating in more-in-depth major and design-yourself programs, and 39 for multiple and interdepartmental programs. If any courses overlap between the two departments, 12 credits at the maximum will be cut from the total number of required credit acquisition.

For multiple and interdepartmental programs, they will receive two separate degrees on their graduation whereas more in-depth and design-yourself majors will receive a single degree with all the relevant majors listed on it.

Students in the engineering department will be exempted from these programs because they are already required to take 60 or more credits in their main majors. Medical and veterinarian students will also be excluded in consideration of their unique curricula.