Six New Minors Added for 2019-20
June 19, 2019
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — In addition to the more than 80 majors, minors, and programs already
available to students, Illinois Wesleyan University is adding six new minors and concentrations
for the 2019-20 academic year.
Starting in the fall of 2019, students can declare themselves as any one of the following
Actuarial Science –– Expanding on the math major and the newly added actuarial science concentration,
the actuarial science minor gives students the opportunity to gain the skills and
knowledge needed to succeed in the field through an interdisciplinary program. The
minor is meant to prepare students for a number of exams in multiple areas that they
will have to pass in order to become an actuary by providing a set of classes that
align with the Validation by Educational Experience (VEE), a requirement for any actuary
position. Students with this minor will be able to apply their learning to assess
risk and uncertainty in insurance, finance, and other industries and professions.
“This minor will allow our program to be recognized as an advanced undergraduate program
in actuarial science,” said Mathematics Department Professor and Chair Zahia Drici.
Film Studies –– Headed by Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Thomas Quinn, the new film studies minor will challenge students to develop a collection of analytical and interpretive skills
as they investigate films’ meanings, aesthetics, and methodologies within a variety
of historical, cultural and political contexts. Additionally, students will develop
the skills to create their own motion pictures through courses in digital videography,
editing and post-production, lighting and sound, screenwriting, storyboarding, photography,
and independent projects. “It has become central to global discourse. The ongoing
work of filmmakers is creating an extraordinary record of our diverse cultures,” said
Quinn. The minor includes three newly added courses available in 2019-20.
French & Francophone Studies –– In addition to a French minor, students will also have the opportunity to pursue
a French & Francophone Studies minor. The minor will allow students to further their thinking in regards to French literature,
civilization, arts and culture. Through the new minor, students can continue to pursue
their interest in French but are not limited to fostering their language proficiency,
as they will be required to take courses that build their knowledge of French culture.
“This new ‘studies’ minor helps them to build their intercultural competence and expand
their world view by further exploration of the rich French and Francophone intellectual
heritage,” said Professor of French and Italian and Director of International Studies
Italian Studies –– Students wanting to pursue a minor in Italian Studies will be given a rare opportunity,
as Illinois Wesleyan is now one of a select few private liberal arts institutions
–– particularly in the Midwest –– that offers a minor in Italian. “Student interest
at IWU in Italian is incredible,” said Sheridan. “We are proud to be able to give
students this liberal arts option as they pursue majors in many different fields,
from music and business to the natural sciences and social sciences.” The new minor
will require a language proficiency through fourth semester and will offer courses
in Italian film, Italian cultural history, Italian literature, and a travel course
to Italy that focuses on the Renaissance, giving students a way to further explore
Italian culture outside of the language.
Religious Diversity –– In response to an ever-growing number of beliefs around the world, the new minor
will offer students the opportunity to grow their religious literacy through a set
of courses specifically curated to best arm students with the knowledge needed to
understand diversity and pluralism within religious studies. The minor requirements
are designed for students to take two courses about pluralism and interactions among
religions first, and then –– to emphasize diversity –– students choose three different
classes about three different religious traditions. “I think this new minor, with
only five required courses, would particularly suit students who are interested in
developing a greater understanding about religions,” said McFee Professor of Religion
and Director of Women's Studies Carole Myscofski. “As for me, my training is in the
comparative study of religions, and my courses tend to emphasize historical and feminist
studies of particular traditions and comparative categories like myths, rituals, and
Statistics –– While math majors will now have the option to choose statistics as a concentration
within the major, non-majors will now be able to choose the subject as a minor. The
minor in statistics is intended for non-math majors who seek to learn important statistical
theories, methods and their applications. “Of the 10 jobs that the U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics (BLS) expects to grow the fastest in the 2016-26 decade, only ‘statistician’
and ‘software application developer’ are not in the healthcare industry. In fact,
according to the Statistical Association, the number of undergraduates in the U.S.
majoring in statistics is not enough to meet the demand from employers. Thus, the
creation of this minor has the possibility of generating more interest and bringing
more viability to our program,” said Mathematics Department Professor and Chair Zahia
Drici. The minor cumulates a set of six classes meant to teach these theories and
ends with a course that teaches simple and multiple linear regressions, hypothesis
testing and confidence intervals in the linear regression models, autoregressive,
and ARIMA models, data analysis and forecasting with time series models.
In addition to the aforementioned minors, the major and minor previously known as
American Studies has been revised, and will now be called American Culture Studies.
The new concentrations in American Culture Studies include: African-American Studies, Latinx Studies, and Native-American Studies.
The program’s updates include two lower-level foundation courses that investigate
power, inequality, and agency through analysis of intersecting structures of race,
class, ethnicity, gender and/or religion; two courses that place the U.S. in a transnational
and comparative framework; and a four-course concentration in a specific ethnic/racial
By Katie Fata ’22