» Exploration Focus

Exploration Focus

Chapman’s General Education Program requires that all students complete a secondary area of study in addition to their major. This requirement can be met through

  • A minor
  • A second major
  • The University Honors Program
  • A themed inquiry


The purpose of requiring a secondary area of study is to provide you with a cohesive set of courses outside your major that will complement your major studies or allow you to explore an area of interest completely outside of your major.

The choice of major, minor, honors or themed inquiry is up to you. Some factors to take into account are the number of credits required in your major (BS, BM and BFA degrees tend to have high credit counts required) and your long-term goals. 

Your secondary area of study must be in a discipline outside of your major, although it is possible in some cases to share a limited number of courses with your major, if you are taking a second major or minor. The discipline of the major usually consists of all courses that are coded in the same way. For instance, HIST refers to history courses, which comprise the History discipline, so a history major cannot also minor in history. In some cases, for interdisciplinary majors or minors, it can be more complicated. For further guidance on double major or majors/minor combinations that are not allowed, please contact the Office of the University Registrar

A themed inquiry is much smaller than either a major or minor (4 courses) but still lets you study one disciplinary subject in depth or one topic from several disciplinary approaches.  

You can explore new areas of learning and afterward decide to develop more knowledge in that area without losing the breadth of learning that is a central GE goal. Many students who initially select a themed inquiry will go on to change the decision to a minor in the same or a similar area.

A wide variety of courses with a common theme are available and are listed on the Themed Inquiry web page.

To give you an idea of what kind of choices other Chapman students have made regarding their secondary area of study - In the spring of 2018, enrolled seniors made the following choices: 14% of students chose a double major, 58% of students chose a minor, 27% chose a themed inquiry, and 2% chose the Honors program. There were even 2 students who had triple majors, and many students had more than one minor.

There are some important policies related to completing your secondary area, as noted below:


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