What Are Minors?

Updated: Dec 8, 2018

What is a minor?


Well, for one, it’s smaller than a major.


Kidding aside, it’s an area of academic interest that you’d like to seriously pursue, but not as seriously as your major. My major is Slavic Languages and Literatures — which, for practical purposes, means that I spend most of my time in Russian literature and history classes — but I am minoring in Persian Language and Literature. This is an important academic interest of mine that I can’t major in for one reason or another.


Minors are just that — minors — for a whole host of reasons. Maybe it’s a side interest. Maybe your university doesn’t allow you to major in a certain discipline. Maybe it’s something you’re interested in learning more about, but don’t want to major in. There are lots of reasons to minor in something.


Different universities have different minor requirements. Some, like Princeton, may require you to write an additional senior thesis, while others may not require any additional work at all. Others yet may require you to fulfill research requirements. All schools will require you to take certain classes in order to obtain a major. This is all important to keep in mind when considering what majors to pursue: what classes do you like? How much work can you realistically do? How much do you enjoy this topic?


Think about your answers to these questions, because they will help you determine what minors are good for you. It’s a great opportunity to pursue a side interest of yours in a formal setting — take advantage of it!


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