You may have decided which program is right for you, and maybe even the major you’re interested in, but the choices don’t stop there as a university student! Ryerson students have the opportunity to obtain a minor (or two!) by utilizing certain open electives, liberals or core courses in their program requirements or taking extra courses outside of their program requirements. Although minors are optional, I recommend incoming students to look into what options are available as it’s a great way to not only add something extra to your resumé, but it’s also an opportunity to study something that interests you outside of your major.
As a Business Management student, I was lucky enough to obtain a Sociology minor without taking any classes outside of my program requirements. I used my Professionally Related courses and lower and upper-level liberal courses. I found this minor to be extremely valuable as a marketing student as sociology is a large influence on marketing.
Let’s take a look at the six courses I took:
SOC 103 is an introduction to sociology and it provides a framework of major sociological perspectives and issues. It is required to take an introductory course for the minor before you take any other sociology courses as the framework you learn in this course will be built upon in all of the others.
As most university students are aiming to be a part of the workforce after graduation, this course provides students with an interesting look at how work settings and complex organizations look in the 21st century. My professor brought in a speaker from the Toronto Youth Partnership & Employment Program to talk about her experience for one of the reflection assignments. I also developed a long-term care home recreational program for during the COVID-19 pandemic with a group of students for another assignment. Each week of the course we focused on different topics of work, and I decided to narrow in on workplace harassment of women for my essay.
Do you enjoy watching movies and television shows in class? Same! This course included screenings of pop culture that displayed inequality every week, followed by a lecture where we would analyze the scenes. I loved the professor I had for this class because you could tell he was passionate about the topic, and he often would add in recent media. For example, when I took the class a new Riverdale episode had recently come out, and we analyzed how the male gaze was present in a scene with Archie and Veronica.
Although this course is reading heavy, I left it with a better understanding of how sexuality and gender intersect with our daily lives. This course often included weekly screenings of both documentaries and pop culture films. Also, all of the students in the class were able to play a role in educating their peers by leading a 10-minute presentation and a brief discussion on the weekly topic. The professor and the class equally contributed to making these discussions impactful in a safe space.
I personally have an interest in food and processes that shape the food system, so this course was perfect for me! We learned not just about the Canadian food system, but also food systems around the world, including farming in India and the United States. I found the week we focused on GMOs and organic food products to be especially interesting as this is something I read about outside of my time in school. The assignment structure of this course was unique because instead of writing an essay, I got to work with a group to create a video about a specific aisle in the grocery store and analyze it. I enjoyed getting to use my video editing skills for this project, and had fun learning new things by taking on the role of director for the video.
The entertainment world has always been of interest to me, but I never knew much about the beginnings of Hollywood before I took this course. I will admit that this course is probably the hardest on this list as it had lengthy readings every week and not just a take-home essay, but also an essay on the exam. Nonetheless it was also probably my favourite course. This course transports you back in time to multiple different decades of Hollywood and allows for analysis of the films, as well as the overall structure of Hollywood. It starts with the silent film era, and goes on to cover various topics including gender, race, class and more!
Sociology is just one of the many minors Ryerson has to offer, so make sure to check out the Ryerson minors calendar to discover what minor(s) might be right for you!