You may have heard about someone graduating from college with a “Minor” in a particular subject. But what does it really mean? Do you need to have one in order to graduate? Is pursuing a minor worth the extra effort? Let the CollegEnroll team enlighten you.

The Difference between a Major and a Minor

A “major” is the primary focus of study for your degree, while a “minor” is the secondary focus. For example, you could major in Communications with a minor in English – Communications will be what your degree is all about, but you will be taking a substantial number of English classes too. Your major will primarily reflect your career goal, and your minor can be used to enhance the value of the major.

How do I get a Minor?

Colleges usually require students to complete a fixed number of specific courses in order to be eligible for a minor. Once the required courses have been taken successfully, students can apply to get the minor – it will be reflected in transcripts and the final degree. There are no restrictions to how many minors you can qualify for, although one is the norm and double minors are very rare.

Which Minor is right for me?

There are two routes you can take while pursuing a minor. At CollegEnroll, we recommend exploring both paths before making a decision. You can pick a minor based on…

  • Your career goals
    As mentioned, a minor can greatly add value to your major. Getting the right minor can also open up new career opportunities. For example, your degree in visual arts combined with a minor in art history could enhance your chances of getting a job with a museum or art gallery.

  • Your personal interests
    Some students choose minors based on what they already know and are interested in. This makes the overall learning experience a lot more interesting, plus you can usually score higher in these courses to boost your overall GPA. A degree in business with a minor in theater isn’t completely unheard of.
Do I need to have a Minor to graduate? Will it cost more?

No, you do not need to pursue a minor in order to graduate. It is purely optional and won’t affect your graduation dates. Also, the courses you take for the minor do not increase your tuition – the cost of the courses is already included in your fee.

Can I get a Minor in any subject I want?

Colleges sometimes have restrictions on who can pursue certain minors or courses. For example, a college may restrict the math minor courses only to physics, business, and computer science majors. On the other hand, almost all colleges keep their minor in psychology open to everyone. We recommend that before registering, students should speak to their college’s academic advisor and discover which minors they are eligible for.

When recruiting, employers are always looking for that little something extra in their new hires. Often, it is intangible – a culmination of who the candidate is and what they bring to the table. Regardless of what Minor you choose to pursue, for career or for personal interest, having one can definitely add a certain weight to your degree. And your future prospects. A minor takes no additional effort to complete (you were going to take those number of courses anyways in order to graduate), but the impact it can have is anything but minor.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing a minor can be influenced either by your career choices – with the minor acting as a boost to your chosen major – or by your personal interests.
  • A minor is purely optional and is not required in order to graduate. Students can also pursue more than one minor if they wish, as long as they complete all the required courses alongside their major.
  • Some minors are only available to students of certain majors – consult with one of your college’s academic advisors to find out if the minor you want to choose is open to you.