How and Why to Choose a Minor
Is a college minor (or two or three) right for you? Here are six questions to help you decide.
Will the minor be useful?
You may choose a minor to help you achieve your career goals. In this case, consider the relationship between your major and the minor you’re considering. A minor can help you explore a related field more in depth than you might through general education electives and provide specialization or focus to your major.
Certain minors are also useful regardless of major. Consider how different disciplines can complement your chosen field and give you skills that are adaptable to many different jobs.
If you’re relying on a minor to help you in your career search, however, it should not be too similar or too unrelated to your major. Keep in mind that many employers would prefer to see job experience or research instead.
Will you enjoy the classes?
A minor can be a great opportunity to develop a passion, interest or hobby. If you find yourself choosing electives that are related, consider tying them into a minor. College is also an ideal time to develop skills or interests that will be beneficial later, whether or not they’re related to your major.
Is the timing right?
If you’re too close to graduation before you start a new minor, employers may wonder why you didn’t choose to work in an entry-level position or gain other work experience instead.
On the other hand, if you started with a double major and find your interest or commitment flagging, cutting one of your majors back to a minor can help you refocus on a single major.
When you consider a minor, plan out the required classes in relation to the other classes you need to take and other commitments for the remainder of your college career. Will you be able to get all the classes you need without extending the length—and overall cost—of your education?
Can you handle the additional coursework?
Adding academic commitments can result in a lower GPA for your major, less time for extracurriculars or work, and additional months or years in college. Is the coursework required for your minor manageable within your existing goals?
Are you nearly there already?
Some students find that their choices of elective or required courses checks most of the boxes for a specific minor. You may consider finishing out the minor if it only requires a few more credits.
Is it required by your college?
A few schools require minors or concentrations to achieve a degree. If that’s the case, of course it’s important to fulfill the requirement.