5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Minor

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College is the best time to explore your interests. Whether you’re pursuing past or present passions, being in college offers opportunities for self-discovery. Adding a minor to your degree is a great way to learn more about something that interests you, even if it doesn’t necessarily pertain to your major.

If you are thinking about adding a minor to your degree program, here are a few things to consider before you choose.

Will it be helpful for your career?
Your minor does not have to pertain to your future career, but it may be something to consider when choosing one. If you can find a minor that interests you and works well with your professional pursuits, that’s a big win.

Is it something that you are interested in learning more about?
Selecting a minor is very different than declaring a major. Choosing a minor has less to do with defining your career path and more to do with broadening your skillset. Knowing this, you can have a little more freedom to branch out solely from things related to your specific major.

Are there any conflicts in your schedule?
Another thing to pay attention to when choosing a minor is if the classes that come with a minor negatively affect your schedule. If the minor you want requires classes that clash with your current degree plan, it’s probably best to just stick with your major. Focusing all of your time on a minor defeats the whole purpose of getting one.
Remember, your minor should help you to explore your interests and expand your understanding. Another thing to consider is whether or not your minor and major work together. In this case, choosing a minor that supports your major can help you work towards the career you want. Sometimes classes for your major and minor may overlap so that you don’t have to double up on work.

Will you graduate on time or will it require you to stay an extra semester?
A significant factor to consider when pursuing a minor is whether or not it will cause you to graduate later than you originally planned. If the classes for your minor do not overlap with your major, you may need to graduate later than you planned. Another factor is adding in a minor late in your college career, which may also affect your graduation date. This is a good thing to discuss with your school counselor as soon as possible to keep your degree on track.

Can you afford to add the cost of a minor to your tuition?
Another issue to take into consideration is the cost of this change. College tuition is expensive enough before adding extra costs and fees, so it is important to be confident in your decision for a minor. Cost is another factor that you can figure out with your financial advisor before making your final decision.

Ultimately, it is important to talk to your advisor to determine what decision you would like to make. Many complications can present themselves in the process. Talking to an advisor can save you time, money, and stress when choosing a minor. Your advisor can help you make the best decision for your schedule, career path, interests, and your money.


If you’re still struggling to figure out your college plans, consider our article on Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Deciding On a College.