What You Need To Know Before Taking An Elective Course In University

Written by Pareeshti Rao

"You can make anything by writing" - a great man once proclaimed. On both a professional and personal level, I'd regard it as fuel for my soul.

May 19, 2021

As a student, sitting for lectures and completing assignments must be routine for you. While you may enjoy some of your lectures, you may dread some on account of gloomy days or monotony getting the better of you. There are however some courses you’ll look forward to. No, not your regular courses but the electives. Taking an elective course in university is when you’re going to enjoy studying, attending workshops, and completing assignments. More often than not, you will be left with the option of choosing your own elective course so that would be advantageous for you. Now you may have a question: What are the elective subjects and how do you choose one? Well, read up this article to know everything you can while selecting an elective course in university.

But first, take a look at the chart below to get a fair idea on some of the most ‘student-friendly’ elective courses that actually gave students their much needed break from their monotonous study patterns.

Source: Spartan Oracle

Most of the science and engineering or business and management students prefer taking elective courses in the field of fine arts only to breathe and relax from their otherwise hectic schedule. Just like them, if you’re giving fine arts a thought too, you should check out the top fine arts universities in the US. This likewise works for the students from other disciplines.

What Are Electives In University?

Elective courses are massively different from normal classes in the sense that they are not specifically required to graduate or fulfil a degree. An elective is mainly pursued with the extra credit and knowledge it imparts to candidates. In fact, you can even choose an elective that has no rational connection to your original class. For instance, if you are an English major but have an interest in criminology you could take up psychology as an elective course in university to nourish your portfolio.

The Purpose Of Electives

In both college and high school, elective courses give students the chance to take classes outside of a prescribed plan of coursework. This lets students pursue other interests they may have, giving them a more well-rounded education. Check out the below-given points that talk about how an elective course is helpful for you.

Develops Interests And Abilities

Electives offer the perfect opportunity to give students the literal or figurative stage to showcase their talents and develop new interests and abilities.Outside of the self-exploration that an elective course in university offers, performance-oriented classes like music, public speaking, and athletics in return teach students to concentrate, improvise, work through nerves, and perform in front of a crowd.

GPA Boost

By opting to take an elective you could boost your GPA and increase the culture of your portfolio. Most majors start with fundamental courses and get increasingly concentrated the more profound into the programme you get. Particularly beginning around the lesser year, you might need to look at electives as an approach to keep up your GPA. You don’t have to take all simple A course electives, yet if you realize you have an overwhelming required course load coming up, it may be ideal to offset that with a nearly simpler elective.

Throw Fun Into A Busy Schedule

Taking an elective course in university creates a richer learning experience while also helping to break up an otherwise rigorous schedule or re-engage students in school. Some students are bored by the content or bogged down by the demands of core courses, so an elective like digital photography, fashion design, or sports marketing might be just the academic break they need to get you through the day. And when you get the control to choose these fun courses—essentially taking ownership of your learning—you will yourself want to invest in your coursework and stay motivated to learn.

Getting You Prepped

When you’re looking for a job after college, it’s important to remember that certain skills simply cannot be taught. Employers cannot give employees creativity, drive, passion, or self-esteem. Those are things you will have to discover by yourself, and elective courses help build such skills. In terms of career-specific knowledge, students need access to classes that prepare them for the careers that will be most readily available once they graduate. 

How Many Electives Can You Take In College?

There is no specific number when it comes to how many electives you should take in college. You may take as many electives as you want. But, every college or university has its own limitation on the number of elective classes that you should take. That is for the credit requirement you need to satisfy to complete the degree requirements. 

So, to find out the number of elective subjects, you might want to discuss it with your course advisor. And once you have all the knowledge about it, go ahead and select an elective course in university.

What Are The Elective Subjects To Take In College?

By now you have clarity on the basic information about electives. Moving further, you can consider the following list of subjects for your choice of an elective course.

Business WritingPsychology
Personal FinanceForeign Language
Public SpeakingArts
Creative WritingHistory
Physical EducationSociology
MarketingGeneral Management
LiteratureHuman Resources

Electives Tied To A Major

In addition to the core requirements, however, students may be asked to take an elective course in university or more within their major. Students more interested in the hard science of linguistics might focus on classes on neurology and linguistics. Those students more interested in cultural anthropology, however, can take elective courses on social aspects of language, cultural language acquisition, and language extinction. Students choose these classes from a pre-approved list, but they have a choice regarding the area of interest they wish to pursue within their field of study. 


  • What is an elective course? What are some examples?

Elective courses count toward your graduation credits but are not required for your specific degree of study. Any courses available at your college or university other than your core courses (mandatory courses), may be taken as an elective. Some examples of elective courses are Music, Art, Creative Writing, Marketing, Web Design, Foreign Languages, etc.

  • What are the best electives to take in college?

Web Design, Creative Writing, Physical Education, Art or Art History, Marketing, Foreign Languages, Statistics and Psychology are some of the best electives to take in college.

  • How many electives can you take in college?

When it comes to how many electives you should take in college, there is no hard and fast rule. You are free to take any number of electives as you want. However, each college or university has its own limit on the number of elective classes you can take.

  • How do you decide what electives to take?

When selecting electives, follow your interests. Taking a class in an area you enjoy or want to learn more about can be enjoyable and relaxing. If your college does not provide the classes you seek, look into local and community colleges.

  • What type of courses are elective?

Free electives, area of study electives and general education electives are three different types of elective courses.

I hope this blog on ‘Taking An Elective Course In University’ was useful to you. If you wish to read similar such guides, these blogs might be of use to you:

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