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Do I Need to Have a Minor or Double Major?

April 8th, 2008 admin


It’s hard enough choosing a major yourself, and now people are talking to you about a minor or worse-a double major! As if one major isn’t hard enough work!

But do you need a double major-or even a minor-to be competitive? Is it going to affect your future, your career, your chances?

Double Majors

Double majors are a good fit for a select few students, but you are definitely not expected to take on two majors. It will not look “bad” if you only have one major!

Clearly, doubling up on majors means a lot of extra work. My personal feelings on this-knowing people who have both double-majored and who have stuck with just one major-is that you should major in something you are passionate about, and focus your energy there.

You’re going to spend the majority of your college career focused on whatever field you choose to major in, so if you feel equally, deeply passionate about two things, then a double major might be a good fit for you. If not, don’t double major!


Minors are, again, not really a requirement. Here are my basic rules about when you might logically choose to minor in a field:

  1. If your minor would strengthen your capability at your major. (i.e. if you’re a physics major, a math minor could really help you to do better in your physics studies)
  2. If required classes for your minor overlaps solidly with those for your major. (If you already have to do the work, why not add on a few extra classes to get the minor?)
  3. If you feel passionately interested in another field, but not enough to double-major. (If you’re studying art but really enjoy psychology classes, you may as well work that in as a minor!)

Bottom line? A minor is not required, and most employers won’t care if you do or don’t have one. I minored in psychology simply because (a) I found it interesting and (b) I had already taken some classes that filled part of the requirement-so it wasn’t hard to finish up the minor.

Hope that takes the pressure off-remember, study what you like!

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ashliane  |  May 19th, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    thats really helpful because i thought you had to minor in something else. but all your blogs were helpful to me being im a freshman in college and im staying in dorms thanks for all the advice.


  • 2. Jamie  |  May 20th, 2008 at 8:39 am

    @ Ashliane: I was confused about the major/minor issue, too–I’m glad I could help you out.

  • 3. Aubrey Keen  |  May 4th, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    I would like to point out that at some schools, such as SMU in Dallas, TX you are required to get a minor. Often times in these schools unless your major is a liberal arts one, your minor must be from a different school than your major. For instance, if you are getting an undergrad marketing degree from the business school, you can’t count a minor in accounting towards your minor requirement because it is from the business school too. You would need to get an economics or international studies degree, something like that.

  • 4. Ashley Washington  |  September 7th, 2010 at 11:52 am

    The information that was giving was helpful to me because I am in my second year in college and I was a little confused about if I should minor in another subject. I think the best option for a person would be to examine their self as far as what they can and can not handle. I know personally a double major or minor would not be the best way to go for me because I truely believe that it would be challenging and I am to focus at this point in my life where I would not want to mess up because of any extra’s.

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