As the student body continues to grow in size and diversity, some of Lehigh’s colleges have introduced new major and minor programs to accommodate changing demands and interests.
After three years of finding faculty and accommodating changes, Latin American and Latino studies, health, medicine and society, and Japanese — which were previously offered as minors through the College of Arts and Sciences — were transformed into majors last fall.
Donald Hall, the outgoing dean of CAS, said he is excited about the new major programs, which have been in the making for a long time.
“It’s a demand from students who are minoring in the program that wanted the opportunity to follow it through for the entire four years and have it on their transcript,” Hall said.
Since all three minors were extremely popular, Hall expected the demand for these majors would be in the dozens.
Beth Pelton, the undergraduate program manager for CAS, said mid-semester data shows that, as of April 17, Latin American and Latino studies has no declared majors but 13 minors, health, medicine and society has 56 majors and 195 minors, and Japanese has two majors and 21 minors.
This data does not include students who might have declared one of these majors or minors after April 17.
“Since it was just registration, that means there are plenty more recent major and minor declarations out there that are unaccounted for,” Pelton said.
Hall said enrollment is expected to increase across the majors as time goes on.
The College of Business and Economics is also planning to introduce two new minors next year — FinTech and a data analysis minor — that will be available to students to combine with the various majors throughout Lehigh.
The undergraduate offices from Lehigh’s four colleges sponsor various events throughout the year to raise awareness of their major programs, such as the major fair at the beginning of the semester and most recently, Major Appreciation Declaration Day.
The business college hosted Major Appreciation Declaration Day on April 19 at the Rauch Business College Courtyard. The business college has previously hosted events for declared majors within the college, but this was the first time the event was carnival-themed and employers from various backgrounds were present.
Jen Bennett, the assistant director of the business college’s undergraduate programs, said the event allowed students to learn more about opportunities in their majors and network informally with various companies that attended the event.
Employers managed games and students who participated were awarded tickets that could be redeemed for prizes. Though the carnival was targeted at sophomores who just declared their majors, Bennett said all students were welcome. Approximately 200 students stopped by to play games, network and snack on carnival-themed food.
Students affiliated with clubs in the business college volunteered to help at Major Appreciation Day.
Dean Zimberg, ’20, a financial engineering major in Lehigh’s Integrated Business and Engineering Program, volunteered at the event.
As the founder and president of the Lehigh FinTech Group, Zimberg said he was excited to share his college experience with students passing through the Rauch Courtyard and assisted in handing out shirts and prizes to students.
“Choosing a major is a very difficult process,” Zimberg said. “It’s really great that Lehigh has events like this to celebrate those who have declared their major.”