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Is Adding a Minor Really Worth It?

Choices. Choices. And more choices. That is what college is ultimately about. What college should you attend? What major should you declare? Should you pursue a minor? To answer the last question: it depends. While enrolled in college, I decided to add two minors to my academic career in music and general business. You may have the impression that I may wholeheartedly support the pursuit of adding a minor, but that is not the case. Every student’s academic needs are different.

Pros for Pursing a Minor

  • Minors are a great way to for you to set goals to improve the quality of your learning experience in another subject area without consuming to much class space.
  • Minors require fewer credits and less overall requirements, so they might be easier to obtain than a second degree.
  • The idea of adding a minor expands interdisciplinary learning that is often encouraged.
  • Adding a minor is especially beneficial if it compliments your chosen major or if the minor emphasizes a concentration of the major you are pursuing.
  • A complimentary minor or specialization within your degree program might also have a lot of crossover credits and requirements. You may be close to completing one already and only need a few extra classes.
  • Minors are useful if a college does not offer a specific program. Some universities only offer minors and in a certain area of study for reasons pertaining to university resources and popularity of the academic subject.

Cons for Pursuing a Minor

  • If the addition of a minor will only distract you from your major related goals it would not be wise to pursue it. 
  • Minors, while helpful and important, are not as prestigious or recognizable as a second degree. If you truly want to bolster your degree and resume a double major is more impressive.
  • When you cannot fulfill the minor in the time allotted before graduation.
  • If you feel pressured to do the minor for reasons that do not pertain to academic or personal growth.
  • If the courses and professors needed for the minor do not feel particularly interesting after attending some of classes.  

Remember declaring a minor is not necessary to graduate college. Nor does it ultimately change the course of a student’s career chances post-graduation. Minors are primarily used to gain additional knowledge in a subject that interests a student from any background. However, if you are considering adding a minor to your college experience there are some essential questions you must ask yourself.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. What is the reason you want to pursue the minor?
  2. Will adding the minor create growth in your learning experience either presently or in the future?
  3. Will the minor help you position yourself for a specific career after graduating college?
  4. Can you realistically accomplish the minor in the time you want to attend college?
  5. Will pursuing a minor require additional costs (tuition, books, etc.) and do you have enough funds for that?

The choice to add or not to add a minor to is not simple. Gaining more and more information within the discipline of the minor in general and the specifics of the minor at the college of your choosing will enable you to make the best-informed decision.

Get Advice

  • Talking to professors or students in the intended area of minor study is recommended when decide if adding a minor is worth the time and effort.
  • Another suggestion is to sign up for a class in the intended discipline of the minor as an elective credit to see if it is something of notable interest to further invest time into. Attending college is intended as a growing experience through and through.

Do not pressure yourself to do something that you do not find fulfillment in, whether it be a major or minor.