Declaring a major is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make during university, and therefore comes with many questions. One of the most common questions is whether or not you should also declare a minor. While you can’t graduate without declaring a major, declaring a minor is often optional.
Like majors, minors are concentrated fields of study. The only difference is that they require fewer courses to complete. While declaring one is just an option in many cases, some fields of study do require a minor for completion. If you have the option to choose, however, here are some factors you should consider.
Reasons to Declare a Minor
For some students, declaring a minor just makes sense. For example, if you’re studying education but planning to teach in a developing African country where French is the first language, minoring in French would be beneficial. In fact, many students planning to work internationally often choose to minor in foreign languages. It may also be helpful for students majoring in fields where translating important texts from foreign languages is commonplace, such as archeology or anthropology. Moreover, to ensure the ability to serve a broader range of patients, many pre-med students minor in Spanish.
Sometimes, a minor can provide versatility and prepare you for career challenges. In other cases, they open up additional career options. For instance, minoring in math as a computer science major could open you to future IT positions. You could also use a minor to narrow your field of expertise or specialization, cornering a niche position in your profession. Or, some minors, like liberal arts, could make you appear versatile and useful in many professional atmospheres. Thus, such a minor could improve your chances of getting hired for certain positions.
Minors often fit major fields of study, but in some circumstances, you can acquire a special permission to minor in whatever you want. So, a biology major could minor in art. Thus, declaring a minor could be an extension of your personal or professional interests. After all, many students wrestle with choosing the right major. Instead of changing your major later (which can create added stress and lengthen your time at college), simply declare a minor in your other field of interest. You’ll then be able to study your two most desired subjects.
Furthermore, completing a minor is much less rigorous than completing a double major. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and effort by declaring a major and a minor. If you decide later that you’re more interested in your minor, changing your major should be fairly simple. Of course, the choice should still be made with care and consideration, much like choosing the right Fanshawe off-campus housing.
How to Declare a Minor
The process of declaring a minor is simple and straightforward. It’s not formal like the process for declaring a major, but it should involve some research. Before attempting to declare a minor, research what your school offers, how the process works, and what circumstances require special permissions. Most of this information can be found in your school’s course catalog, but you should conduct some independent research on topics such as career prospects for specific minors as well. Additionally, consult your academic advisor for their opinion on declaring a minor, as well as tips on completing the application process.