Minors Only (Part 2 of 2)

This week The Quadrangle is featuring programs at Manhattan College that are offered exclusively as minors. Read part 1 here. 


By: Claire Leaden, Managing Editor/Features Editor

The music minor at Manhattan College started in 2004, within a joint-program with Mount St. Vincent College that offered the first “fine arts” minors at MC: music and art history. The colleges severed their partnership in 2006, but today there are 31 students minoring in music whose majors span across the five different academic schools.

Photo by James O'Connor
Photo by James O’Connor

“We have engineers, business, science, education as well as School of Arts students in music,” Mark Pottinger, chair of the visual and performing arts department, where the music minor is located said.

In order to pursue a music minor, students must take the following:

-Three credits of general music history, with either the course MUSC 150: Roots: Music or MUSC 216: Introduction to World Music
-Three credits of music performance, choosing between MUSC 208: Piano Skills and Techniques or MUSC: 209: Guitar Skills and Techniques
-Three credits of music theory, fulfilled by MUSC 220: Fundamentals of Music Theory
-Six credits of MUSC 300 or 400 level courses.

“We do offer electives within the minors that allow the students to take courses that coincide with their interests,” Pottinger said. “We have independent studies, special topics classes, internships, all so they can get the practical experience to see how to work in the course of the job.”

Pottinger also said that some courses within the music minor have dual-roles to make the minor easier for students to complete. For example, the MUSC 150 course is a core requirement for the School of Arts, but also is a class that counts toward the minor. Introduction to World Music is a music course that counts as a global/non-western too.

The department has also added an element that allows students to receive one credit for participating in one of the school’s music extracurriculars, including the orchestra, singers and jazz band. The one credit includes 10 lessons with a professional musician as well. Students can do this for three semesters in order to receive another three credits toward the minor.

Photo by James O'Connor
Photo by James O’Connor

After a year of disinterest with engineering, sophomore William Garandeau switched to become a communication major and music minor.

“I always had a deep interest in music, and then I talked to Thom [Gencarelli—head of communication department] about my different options,” Garandeau said. “We talked about how I could transfer to a different school specifically for audio engineering or stay and do a minor in music, and I liked it here so I ended up doing that. I’m doing a major in comm with the minor in music and so far I like it a lot better.”


By: Lauren Carr, A&E Editor

Students who have an interest in theater, or for those that are looking for more exposure to the theater industry need to look no further than the MC theater minor. The theater minor introduces students to the historical, analytical and an overall knowledge of the art. The minor was introduced in 2010 and has since continued to grow.

Photo by James O'Connor
Photo by James O’Connor

The theater minor has short videos available on the Manhattan College website that gives students an inside look of what the classes are like. These are videos put together by the students and show what the acting and dance classes, lectures and other theater classes offered within the minor.

“In the history of the college we have never had anything like this,” Mark Pottinger, Ph.D., said. “The minor is safe choice for many students because they can still stay in their major and not feel as though they are throwing everything away to be an actor or to be a director. The most fascinating thing about this is that when you look at who has this minor we have students who have majors in the School of Arts, Business, Engineering and School of Education so we pretty much have them from every school.”

Photo by James O'Connor
Photo by James O’Connor

For students who show an interest but are still on the fence about wanting to declare, take some notes from senior Olivia Blasi who is a theater minor and is now starting to plan out her life after college.

“Declaring a theater minor was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my college career,” Blasi said. “The classes I’ve taken for the minor have inspired my career aspirations for after I graduate.”

Blasi is currently applying to grad schools and focusing on schools that offer master’s degrees in playwriting or English.

Internship opportunities as well as connections to the theater are endless since MC is a school in New York City.

Digital Media Arts

By: Kieran Rock, Assistant Features Editor

In 2006, Manhattan College began offering a minor in digital media arts. The minor has students from all the schools on campus. “We have 34 students in digital media arts,” Mark Pottinger, head of the visual and performing arts department, said.

Students who choose to minor in digital media arts take ART 212: Art of Digital Photography, ART 213: Digital Drawing, ART 214: Introduction to Graphic Design, ART 380: Digital Video Art: Editing and Production and ART 390: Digital Audio Recording and Editing.

Senior Alexa Revans pairs her major in communications (concentrating in PR) with the digital media arts minor. “I knew that digital media arts would be a great minor for a couple of reasons. Most jobs within the PR field require a creative mind and its also important to have an understanding of visual communications, which is definitely what the minor gives me.”

Sophomore Andrew Fontaine is also connecting the minor to his major, which is psychology. “Being a psychology major, I think that it helps me to view art and create art as a reflection of emotions and the mind,” Fontaine said. Fontaine plans to implement the minor as an exploration of his love of art.

Pottinger hopes to expand the minor program to a major. “Art history was a minor first, and that’s what we hope to do with digital media arts.” The minor moved with the visual and performing arts department in the fall of 2009, and two Mac labs were established, a graphic lab and a sound lab.

Revans has also seen the skills she has picked up in the minor allow her to help out the clubs she has been involved with on campus. “I’m now the Editor-in-Chief of Manhattan Magazine, but was originally their Production Editor—InDesign lady. I also originally helped out PRSSA by making posters and am now VP.”

Courtesy of Andrew Fontaine
A sample of a student project for digital media design courses. Courtesy of Andrew Fontaine

Senior Gianluca Derossi says that the digital media arts minor allows him to follow his love of drawing while still benefiting his marketing major. “It is important to use your electives on classes that allow you to express yourself. College is tough, but taking classes you thoroughly enjoy can help ease the load,” Derossi said.

Whether it is explored as a hobby, compliment a major, or used to help clubs on campus, the minor in digital media arts has many facets that can give MC students practical skills. Skills that Pottinger said will help in the real world.

“We have had students who have majored in business and minored in digital media and have gone off to have careers that relied on the skills they learned in the minor. So, what got them through the door was their major, but what secured the job was the minor.”