Most colleges require you to satisfy general education requirements before you begin courses in your chosen major. In addition, you can select electives, courses that do not count toward your major but are figured into the total number of credits you need to graduate. Choosing electives gives you the chance to explore new subjects, boost your grade-point average and gain new training and education on a favorite hobby or interest.

Academic Progress

Select electives that are engaging and that you believe will be easy to manage. Electives are a great way to increase your grade-point average. Are you a fitness buff? Taking a yoga or weightlifting class is a great way to get into shape and pad your GPA. If you enjoy movies, register for a class that is fun and satisfies an elective requirement. For example, the University of North Carolina, Wilmington offers a movie class entitled, Star Wars: A Complete Saga. Balance your electives with the rest of your schedule so that you will have a manageable course load that will demonstrate academic success.

Hobbies and Interests

Use your electives to try a photography or ceramics class. Learn a new skill such as tennis, bowling or karate. At California State University, Fullerton, women’s choir is one of the most sought-after electives. Tapping into an existing talent through a course that counts toward your degree will allow you to meet new people and take a break from your usual academic routine. It will also help you become well versed in a variety of areas.

New Possibilities

Select electives that interest you and provide insight into other career areas. You can usually take a course in almost any department on campus. Think about the activities and volunteering you did in high school and select an elective that matches your interest. If you have a passion for the environment, try out an environmental science class such as "Joy of Garbage" offered at Santa Clara University. You might even decide to change your major because of an elective you take.

Special Expertise

Select an elective that will help you become marketable. For example, if you are a community health major and you would like to work on a Native American reservation, look into an American Indian studies class. Perhaps you are majoring in political science and interested in running for elected office. Take a public speaking class to enhance your skills. If you take enough electives in a specific department, you could end up with a minor.

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