What is a Minor in College? And does it matter?

You are preparing to go to college, and have heard about minors in college quite a lot. You are probably wondering what it is and how you can use it.

A minor in college provides it’s student with the opportunity to learn something about what you are interested in, whether it is related to your major.

While your major would require a lot of attention, your minor does not require such focus and time from you.

A college minor can provide you with the specialized expertise that complements your college major.

Before you enroll in a minor program, understand more about what they are and how to choose the right one. In this article, you’ll get an answer to the question of what is a minor in college? And more.

What is a Minor in College?

A college minor consists of five or more classes within a discipline. To successfully use them as a minor, you must complete these courses with a passing grade. These disciplines are related or unrelated to your college major. 

However, you must complete your minors alongside your majors to be able to fulfil enrollment requirements at a college or university.

Simply put, a minor in college is a secondary academic discipline, another subject to focus on in addition to the major. If a student has multiple interests that directly connect–they can minor in another field.

Many students in college minor in subjects that support their major. You can major in a general field and focus or specialize in an area. For instance, a business major might minor in marketing. 

Others minor in something they enjoy or find fascinating, but don’t plan to find employment in.

While majors may require students to complete 60 credits of related courses, minors introduce students to an academic discipline without as many classes. At most colleges, undergrads complete 16-30 credits for a minor.

Minors significantly differ from majors: Undergrads rarely need a minor to graduate. As a result, many students might wonder whether minors offer any real benefit.

Importance of a Minor in College

There are several reasons choosing and declaring a minor in college. Some of them are;

  • Choosing a minor lets degree-seekers focus their studies on another topic beyond their major.
  • Selecting a minor complements your major.
  • Many undergrads find they already have enough credits for a minor in certain departments by their junior year. Since a minor typically requires around 20-25 credits, adding a minor might not require extra courses or add time to the degree.
  • A minor also helps degree-seekers explore their interests and develop a deeper understanding of more than one subject.
  • Minors can also be a benefit while the student is interviewing for a job or applying to graduate school.
  • Minors show employers or schools that the student is hardworking and can handle an additional workload.
  • A specific minor is a bonus form of experience when looking into certain job markets.
  • It provides specialist knowledge in a related discipline
  • Minors are a great way to develop your skills in an area that is related to your major.
  • It allows students to explore their interests
  • It offers an easy way to complete in addition to major courses
  • It allows students to learn about unrelated disciplines. Minors are also excellent for introducing you to other areas of study you would not have otherwise considered.

Does your Minor in College Matter?

You would wonder why minors in college matter since they are optional. A minor is fairly inconsequential compared to your major. It requires fewer credits and only appears on your transcript, not your degree. Also, it does not require as much stress as your major does.

However, think long term. Way beyond the experiences and eye-opening knowledge you would get from the minors, during an interview, a potential employer probably will not ask if you earned a minor in college.

They’re more likely interested in your previous work experience, internships, college major, volunteer service, and extracurricular.

Employers care about the courses job candidates take in college. Furthermore, the college offers countless opportunities for intellectual growth.

A minor can help undergrads stretch their boundaries, strengthen skills, and learn new disciplines.

How to Select a Minor in College

Selecting a college minor is almost as important as choosing your major. That is why you need to know how to choose the right one. The steps and points to note when selecting a minor in college are:

Think About our major, interests, and the reason you chose it:

Consider which courses or specialty areas have gained your attention. You can also think about your interests outside of your major. Think about a particular academic subject, industry, or activity that fascinates you.

Identify an area you want to improve or work on. Consider the opposite of your interests by looking at area you want to strengthen.

You could use a minor to challenge yourself to conquer a subject or idea you have a limited understanding.

Research all The Minor Your School Offers

Once you have identified your interests and areas for improvement, go to your school website to figure what minors are available to you in different subjects. This could help you narrow down your choices.

You can Select Based on Your Career Goals, and You can also select based on Personal Interest

A great way to approach your minor is to choose your courses based on your career goals. If you are going to school for business, you may want to consider a minor in finance, accounting, or economics.

You may not have to select a minor that goes hand in hand with your intended career. It may help to choose purely on your interests. It works to give you a different perspective and future jobs.

Review the Minor Requirements for Specific Programs

After you have narrowed your search, do more research on your school website about your desired minor program. Consider factors such as the number of courses and types of courses that minor offers to participants.

Meet With Your Advisor to Discuss Your Options

Book an appointment with your advisor to gain their perspective. Ask them which minor they would choose and work with them to create a plan to incorporate your minor courses into your schedule.

Depending on your school, you can fill out a minor declaration form during your advisor meeting.

What Minor Are There?

It mostly depends on what the specific college or university offers. Many academic fields have both majors and minors, but some do not have the latter.

Sometimes minors do not have associated majors, they stand on their own. It depends on the specificity of the minor program and the individual institution.

College minors vary from school to school, so you will need to look into what your college offers before selecting a minor if you decide to go this route. But a few popular college minors you may find at your school include:

  • A foreign language
  • Business
  • History
  • Psychology
  • Political science
  • Sociology
  • Mathematics
  • Classics
  • Chemistry

Read more: Types Of College Classes And Courses To Take

What are the Differences between a Minor and a Double Major?

It is important to understand the differences between minors and double majors so you can decide which is the best for you.

Course Load

A significant difference from a minor from a double major is the course load. Minor can have as few as five courses, but double majors consist of just as many classes as the primary major.

What it means is that you could potentially complete a minor within a few semesters, but you typically complete your double-major courses toward the end of your college career.

Level of Difficulty

Since minors include a select number of courses, you might gain a fundamental understanding of multiple areas.

Double major programs allow for more in-depth courses because they take the duration of your college career to complete.

If you choose a double major, you will learn more, but the classes will become increasingly difficult as you progress.


Should I minor in something?

This question depends entirely on you as a student and what you are interested in studying.

Are minors always easy?

Some majors have a strict and demanding workload. Overwhelmed students in those majors may not want to minor. Others end up double-minoring in two different subjects. Some might attend a college where the minor they’re interested in isn’t offered. Minors require some dedication but can be very beneficial in the long run.

Are minors very distracting?

Taking minor courses can distract you from your major or other necessary courses you need to take. More classes mean more studying and more homework. Between general education classes and your major requirements, a minor can be a difficult thing to fit in for some students

Can minors cut into my time a lot?

More classes mean less free time. Whether you enjoy reading, want to join a new club on campus, or there’s another activity you enjoy, you may have a hard time fitting it in if you are taking on more courses.

Does taking minors in college cost more money?

More classes mean more money. Each course costs something, so if you’re adding on extra classes, your college costs could rise significantly, especially if you didn’t plan on taking a minor.

Could taking minors in college stop me from graduating faster?

If you’re having a hard time fitting in your major requirements and your general education courses, you might also discover that you won’t graduate on time (within 4 years) if you take on the extra classwork to have a minor.


From the content above you can see also, that both major and minor have special requirements.

Mandatory classes or a certain number of credit hours in the subject–to complete the program, though usually, the requirements are much less than that of the major. 



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