Designing Your Program

Building a Foundation for Your Long-Term Success

As you advance through courses during your freshman and sophomore years, select classes that match up with career areas of interest to you, but also look for courses that will fulfill liberal education requirements and let you try something new that piques your interest.

Design your academic program with thought about your strengths, your interests and your life goals. Picking a major is the biggest step forward, but you may want to add a minor or a second major that complements your choice and lets you customize your education.

This is also a great time acquire varied experience through part-time employment, volunteering and getting seriously involved with campus and community organizations.

Continue to attend Career Services events such as Sophomore Celebration and the Major & Career Expo. If you’re still feeling undecided about your major, make an appointment with a career coach soon.

Consider Ways to Fine-Tune Your Education


A minor is much like a major in that it’s an area in which you concentrate by taking a specific number of related courses. But a minor does not require as many classes, giving you more flexibility to take a variety of courses outside your major.

Minors are offered in virtually every academic subject at Bemidji State, as well as 18 subjects for which a major is not available, such as Earth Science, Geology and Women’s Studies.

Double Majors

Shelby chose a double major in Professional Education and Mathematics, with a minor in Spanish.

Some students pursue two majors because they love learning and want to explore two subjects with equal depth. One may even be more of a personal passion, such as music performance, or the combination may be very strategic in terms of matching with a specific profession or post-graduate education in mind.

Regardless, it often is an ambitious and challenging choice because it requires fulfillment of two sets of academic requirements and limits opportunities to take classes outside those two fields. Keep in mind that your college experience includes both your courses and all of the opportunities to explore your interests, talents and potential outside of class and when you’re done enough studying for one day.


A certificate is much like a minor but requires fewer classes and often is more specialized, corresponding to a specific area of expertise required in a given field. They also may available to working professionals and other non-degree-seeking students. Examples of these are the Red Cross Community First Aid and First Aid Responder certifications offered by the Department of Human Performance, Sport & Health.

Other certifications apply more generally to a number of potential careers, such as Leadership Studies and Electronic Writing.