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Should You Declare a Minor?

In college, your major is your main focus as far as academics go; it’s what most of your courses are based around and it’s what you’ll receive a degree in. Picking a major can be challenging, especially if you have multiple interests. Fortunately, if you’re interested in a certain subject but don’t want to make it your major, you can minor in it! Minors are a great way to increase your knowledge on a subject, whether that subject ties into your major or if it’s just something you’d like to know more about.

Here is some advice that will help guide your decision of whether or not adding a minor is the right choice for you:

Minors have certain requirements that need to be fulfilled just like majors do. Click here to view the list of minors Millersville offers and their requirements. Your advisor is a great resource to go to with any questions about minors. It’s also important to talk to your advisor when considering a minor to make sure you are actually eligible to minor in that field. For example, a Business Administration major with a concentration in Marketing cannot minor in Management. They would instead have to add management as a second concentration. Before you meet with your advisor, I’d recommend doing some research on your own to learn more about the minor you’re considering. If you’re interested in minoring in Psychology, for example, you could look into Millerville’s Psychology Department, the faculty and staff, and research the required courses to see if it’s a good fit for you.  Having this information can help you decide if declaring a minor is the right choice for you. 

Minors related to your degree are a good way to learn more about the field you’re interested in, may expand your job opportunities after graduation, and can help your resume stand out among other job candidates. However, don’t limit yourself to thinking that you can’t or shouldn’t minor in a field that isn’t related to your major – you can! Robert Kiyosaki, a businessman and author, said that the most important thing a person can do to help themselves is “to know a little about a lot.” Having a minor that isn’t related to your major can help you graduate with a more varied skill set and knowledge in more than one subject area. 

The biggest piece of advice I can give you when deciding on whether or not to declare a minor is to know yourself. Can you handle the additional courses? Will you still graduate on time? Is it something you’re really interested in? What do you want to get out of it? These are all good questions to ask yourself during this process. You may want to declare a minor to appear more well-rounded and hard working to employers, but standing out to employers also requires things like good grades and participation in extracurricular events.  If a minor interferes with these things, it may not be the right choice for you. If you already have your plate full with other courses and maybe a part-time or full-time job, or if you’re struggling to keep your grades up, I’d recommend making a pros and cons list to help you weigh your options and reach out to your advisor for advice. 

It’s important to remember that even without a minor, there’s still plenty you can do to make sure your a good candidate for jobs once you graduate. Click here to read an article from the American Marketing Association where two recruiters answer questions about things such as what they look for in a resume and how to get noticed, or this article from Indeed.com about how to impress potential employers and coworkers during a job interview. Of course, you can also still explore a subject area you’re interested in without declaring a minor in it by simply taking a few elective courses.

You can remove a minor at any time, so there’s no pressure to stick with something that isn’t working out for you. To add, remove, or change a minor, visit this link and fill out the form called “Academic Program Change Request”. This form was called the “Academic Minor” form until very recently, so if you hear it called that, just know the person is talking about the “Academic Program Change Request”.

Whatever you decide to do, just make sure you’re happy with your choice and that you’re doing what’s best for yourself and your education. 

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