When St. Edward’s University students graduate and receive their diploma there is one piece of information missing: their major.
St. Edward’s diplomas list either Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts and any academic distinctions, such as cum laude, that a student has achieved.
However, Registrar Lance Hayes explains it comes down to space for this exclusion.
“A diploma is recognition of a degree; all other details like grades, majors, minors, cheapen the degree. There really isn’t any room,” Hayes said.
Senior Dianey Leal disagrees.
“It’s important for diplomas to have this kind of information,” she said.
Leal, who is double majoring in political science and English writing, recognizes the impact that displaying a major can have.
“Diplomas help people connect — almost like senior rings do,” Leal said. “It’s a way of people identifying with one another. Although transcripts do have our area of study, we don’t generally hang them on our walls, which highlights the importance of diplomas having this kind of information.”
According to Hayes, though, including a major on a diploma is impractical and unnecessary.
“Historically, St. Edward’s diplomas have never carried majors,” said Hayes, “They don’t carry majors at the majority of schools.”
According to Hayes, universities are only allowed to issue a general bachelor’s degree, unless the student is in a specific program that requires extra certification, like a nursing program.
If the lack of majors is worrisome for students who will graduate from St. Edward’s, they should be assured that it will not affect their ability to get a job or to get into graduate school.
Emily Salazar, a career counselor at St. Edward’s, made clear that the absence of majors and minors on the diploma is a non-issue for employers and admissions counselors.
“It doesn’t concern me,” Salazar said. “When you are looking for a job or an internship, (the diploma) doesn’t come into play.”
Salazar believes diplomas have been replaced in the modern workforce with something else.
“These are our diplomas now,” she said, pointing to her business cards.
She emphasized that employers care more about the student’s resume and experience. To drive her point, Salazar googled ‘diplomas’ on her computer and pulled up dozens of images of fake diplomas that could be printed at home with ease.
“In this digital age, the diploma doesn’t mean much,” Salazar said. “What matters is your experience.”
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