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Monday, June 5, 2023

Academics & Research

Specialty academic minors offered at UH


For students looking for interesting minors, here are for uncommonly claimed minors offered by different colleges at UH. | Carolina Yanez/The Cougar

With the focus on choosing a college major among UH’s many offerings, many undergraduates consider minors as well.

For a set amount of additional credit hours, typically 15 or 18, students can earn minors that complement their major and learn skills and context that they might otherwise lack.

Here are four specialty minors at UH that students may find appealing or applicable to a variety of career fields and interests.

Special populations

As a relatively new minor within the College of Education, special populations provides students with the tools they may need to work with individuals who experience challenges with language, learning, social skills or the effects of aging.

Students take classes such as EDUC 2301, Introduction to Special Populations and SPEC 4353, Technology in Special Populations.

“The minor in special populations is special because it can be helpful to students in a variety of majors,” said program director and clinical associate professor Kristen Hassett. “Our students learn to understand, assess and evaluate the needs of individuals across the lifespan with disabilities to make evidence-based decisions – a skill set needed in many careers.”

The minor’s first students are just beginning to graduate and work in early childhood settings, public education and other organizations that work with individuals with diverse needs, said Hassett.

To apply for the minor, students can make an appointment with the Special Populations undergraduate advisor. To learn more about the course content, they can contact Hassett.


The e-tailing minor in the College of Technology blends technology and consumer sciences in courses like HDCS 4374, Entrepreneurial E-Tailing and HDCS 4302, Apparel Analysis.

The minor emphasizes technology-based approaches for entrepreneurial enterprises, offers supervised practicum courses and trains students to identify costs and financial risks associated with supply chain structures and operations.

Alumni tend to enter careers in entrepreneurship, sales, customer relations, merchandising, buying, marketing, social media and website management, business analytics and supply chain and logistics, according to academic advisor Rakesh Salian.

To declare the minor, students can fill out the College of Technology’s minor declaration form.

World cities

The Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design offers the world cities minor to students of all majors. Possible courses include ARCH 3397, Social Aspects of the City and ECON 3363 Environmental Economics.

Minor coordinator and associate professor Vera Adams said the minor is unique due to the interdisciplinary nature of its courses.

Courses that count towards the minor are offered from multiple colleges and departments across campus, including the College of Architecture, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management.

Graduates continue on to careers in architecture, city planning, business, international diplomacy, academia, non-profit housing development and transportation engineering, among others.

Interested students can make an appointment with Adams after reviewing the classes and making a preliminary plan for the five required courses.

Bioinformatics in Biomedical and Biopharmaceutical Sciences

The bioinformatics in biotechnology and biomedical sciences minor in the College of Technology prepares students for work in computational methods in biological research and population genetics, as well as for potential graduate school opportunities. 

Bioinformatics is a subdiscipline of biotechnology with multidisciplinary approaches to analyze relevant issues in healthcare, agriculture and genomics, said academic advisor Carlos Gonzalez. 

Gonzalez noted the increasing interest in biotechnology due to the pandemic.

“The combination of programming skills and application of biological knowledge is essential in today’s healthcare and pharmaceutical research,” Gonzalez said. “If you are a student who is a fan of the life sciences, this minor would add more versatility to your major or academic coursework.”

Biotechnology major and bioinformatics minor senior Madeline Fossitt chose to pursue bioinformatics because she wanted to learn coding, which she felt would be applicable to her future career. The minor has allowed her to combine biology, coding and statistics on her route to becoming an optometrist.

“I expect the minor to solidify my biology knowledge and ease the transition between undergraduate and doctoral schooling,” Fossitt said.

Interested students can contact one of the College of Technology advisors and declare the minor using the College of Technology’s minor declaration form.

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