Minors' Day at AUA
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AUA Students Explore Undergraduate Minors

2 min read

YEREVAN, Armenia On April 8, students gathered in the American University of Armenia (AUA) Kevork and Cecile Keshishian Student Union to learn about the minors currently offered to undergraduate students. An undergraduate minor is a set of thematically related courses intended to broaden and complement a student’s learning and experience.  

Attendees heard about the minors in Environmental Studies; Gender Studies; Genocide Studies and Human Rights; Philosophy; and Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE).  

Instructors who teach in these programs described the benefits of completing a minor and the courses required to earn a minor, related both to pursuing post-graduate work as well as in their careers.

Associate Professor Dr. Hourig Attarian discussed how the transdisciplinary minor in Gender Studies provides students with an opportunity to explore how gender influences human experiences, knowledge construction, and power relations, in addition to helping students prepare for further studies or careers in fields such as education, public relations, human resources, social work, law, journalism, business, non-profit management, public health, medicine, artificial intelligence, and politics.

Adjunct lecturer Dr. Suren Manukyan discussed how the minor in Genocide Studies and Human Rights provides students with the opportunity to explore the causes, conditions, and consequences of genocide and to recognize human rights as a means to promote peace and justice. He noted that students interested in pursuing further studies or careers in international relations, law, education, business, journalism, the public sector, and human-behavior-related fields might be particularly interested in this minor.

Dr. Arshak Balayan, assistant professor, talked with students about the minor in Philosophy, as well as the PPE mino. He shared that students pursuing the latter explore how philosophy, politics, and economics can be utilized to inform policy decisions and shape solutions and that the curriculum prepares students for a variety of careers in public service, law, business, and development, as well as further studies in philosophy or the social sciences.

Dr. Balayan also shared that students exploring a Philosophy minor explore key philosophical concepts to think about fundamental aspects of reality, nature, and the limits of human understanding, as well as human values. he noted that the minor would be relevant to students pursuing careers in law and engaging in research in the natural and social sciences, journalism, education, and government.

Alen Amirkhanian, director of the Acopian Center for the Environment and chair of AUA’s newest undergraduate program in Environmental and Sustainability Sciences, presented the minor in Environmental Studies which aims to help students explore insight into the environmental aspects of economic and social life and develop practical tools and approaches for linking environmentally sustainable and equitable solutions to various fields of study and professional endeavors.

The General Education Department provided details about the procedure for students to declare their intent to pursue a minor.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.