Every stage of the college search — from your first look at colleges to the big, final decision on where to go to school — the question “what’s your major?” is sure to come up. And, whether you know exactly what you want to major in or if you’re still exploring your options, you probably haven’t thought about a minor. Some majors require you to choose a related minor, and some give you the option to minor in anything you want (or not choose a minor at all). So why consider a minor? Should you take one related to your major or not? Don’t worry, we’ve got the tea on academic minors in college.
#1. A minor can complement your major and add depth to your studies.
Many minors at CSU are designed to complement your major and add depth to the focus of your studies. For example, students majoring in biology can opt to select a minor in molecular biology and gain further insight into the much-broader topic. Biology students interested in outdoor careers or research might opt for a minor in conservation biology. CSU’s minors (and concentrations and certification programs) allow you to design-your-own approach to academics to truly personalize your studies to best fit your goals and passions.
#2. A minor allows you to explore interests outside your main area of focus.
In contrast, you can choose a minor unrelated to your major to explore other areas of study or pursue another interest. Choosing a major is a big decision that will affect your entire college experience and contribute to your future in a myriad of ways. But that doesn’t mean you’re committing to one discipline and nothing else. There’s plenty of time to major in watershed science and minor in creative writing! Your love of poetry doesn’t have to be sacrificed for your passion for conservation.
#3. You can give yourself a unique edge in your career search.
Having both a broad academic background along with more-specialized skills can give you a leg up when applying for jobs. Your major can give you the foundational skills and knowledge you need to perform well in a job, but your minor can be an additional selling point. For example, a journalism and media communication major has a wide variety of job prospects, from news anchor to content marketer to social media specialist. But imagine pairing that with a minor in Spanish? Being able to sell yourself as a bilingual journalist can open doors to careers (international reporter, anyone?) you’ve never even dreamed of.
#4. You can make connections outside your core areas of study.
After you’ve completed your AUCCs (required university courses) at CSU, you are likely going to spend most of your academic time on your major, and you’ll run into fellow majors, faculty, and staff within your academic area over and over again. Having those connections will serve you well; from professor recommendations to peer study groups, your connections are invaluable. But minoring in another academic area can foster those same connections elsewhere, too. As an engineering major, you might choose a minor in music to de-stress and express your creativity. You could very well meet a music professor who wants to hook you up with an internship that combines your musical abilities and your knowledge of mechanics. The more people you can network with in college the better!