While a major is required to complete a college degree, it is not necessary to have a minor. However, this doesn’t mean minors have no benefit. If you have a specific secondary interest that you’d like to focus on, a minor is a great way to learn more about those interests. Minors further your education, teach you more skills and open up additional areas of study for you. Minors also show employers that you are interested in broadening your skillset. If you are asking yourself, “Should I get a minor?” check out these four questions to help narrow your options.
How do I determine which minor will best suit my major?
Just as with choosing a major, your personal interests and goals should serve as an initial guide in choosing a minor. In addition to your primary interest area, which is likely your major, what else interests you?
There are disciplines which may fit well together, such as a psychology minor with a social work major or an accounting minor with a business administration major. Your faculty advisor can help you think about these combinations. But it’s also okay for a minor to be completely different from your major.
Minors show future employers either a specific skillset that complements your major or the breadth of your experience and interests.
Is it worth putting in the extra effort to earn a minor?
Maybe or maybe not. Students probably tend to overemphasize the importance of a minor. Instead, your college career may benefit from taking a wide variety of elective courses. Even without minors, you can use specific courses to display to prospective employers or graduate schools an area of interest that you have.
It is true, however, that minors are an easy way to point out a secondary set of knowledge. Putting in the effort to take a few extra specialized courses could make up a beneficial minor. This can give you more experience in more than one field of study.
Will it increase my workload?
All students need to complete a certain amount of credit hours to graduate. Most students will have plenty of space in their schedule for elective courses beyond the courses required for their major or for the general education program. Typically, those elective hours will be enough to complete a minor if students choose to focus them on a particular area. This balances out your coursework and won’t typically add more onto your workload.
Is it possible to have more than one minor?
Yes, it is possible to have more than one. It depends on a variety of factors, including the number of hours required for your majors and minors, whether you have a double major, the number of hours of college credit you earned during high school, the number of hours taken each semester, or whether you wish to take courses in the summer. If your schedule allows for it and you are really interested in a broad range of studies, feel free to go for more than one. Just be careful to map out a thorough yearly plan that lays out when you are taking your courses. This ensures you get all the credits you need to fulfill your plan of study.
Should I get a minor? Current college students share their advice!
“I think having my minor will be very beneficial to me because it will make me more marketable and valuable during my job search after I graduate. It has also opened a lot of doors for current jobs and internships!”
Emily, marketing and communication major; public relations minor
“Earning a minor allows you to broaden your studies and offers a wider range of expertise and ability. Many students pursue minors that pair well with their major or could be completed easily due to a special interest in that area.”
Nathan, mathematics and business administration major; insurance and financial services concentration
“I chose a minor that is mostly fulfilled by the requirements of my major, so it easily fits into my schedule. You don’t have to choose a minor that relates to your major though. You could choose something random that you find interesting! Having a minor also helps build your resume so graduate schools and future employers will be impressed that you have knowledge in another area of study.”
Danielle, pre-physical therapy major; biology minor
“I want to get as much as I can from my college experience. Having a minor has opened the door to new opportunities outside of my major which has furthered my education. My minor has also helped me to feel more confident in my abilities in my future career.
Jenía, art education major; graphic design minor
At Bluffton University…
Bluffton University offers more than 90 majors, minors and academic programs. Earning a minor at Bluffton opens up doors for internships, provides valuable opportunities and prepares you for the next step. Advisors at Bluffton are also your professors and mentors. They mean it when they say, “My door is always open!”
Learn more during a personal or group visit. Register today!
Written by Kaylee Rauch ’26, public relations student assistant, with information from Iris Neufeld, registrar, and Lamar Nisly, vice president and dean of academic affairs