Minors and majors can seem complicated at first glance, especially if you haven’t given it much thought before, but it can be a great resource. While some schools might limit the number of minors that you can have, it is almost always possible to double minors.
In this article, we’ll be covering what exactly it means to have a double minor in college, as well as why you might want to have a double minor. As with every choice, there are pros and cons that need to be covered, but don’t worry; we’ll hit those too!
Is It Possible to Have a Double Minor?
Let’s start with the fundamental question of what a minor is. You will choose your major or your primary course of study in college, but you can also select one or two minors. These are other courses of study that interest you but don’t necessarily want to major in. A minor could be a field that could complement your major, or it could be something totally different.
Having a double minor, that is to say declaring or picking two different minors, is almost always possible. While some universities might have rules limiting you to one minor, most schools will allow you to have two minors. This all begs the question of how many majors and minors can you have?
The most common rules for majors and minors are that you must have at least one major but no more than two majors and that you can have zero, one, or two minors. The catch to all of this is that the total number of majors and minors that you have can’t be more than three. This leaves your options to be two majors and one minor or one major and two minors if you want to double up on either your major or minor. This also means that most schools won’t allow you to take three majors or three minors.
Typically, a major will require close to twice as many courses as a minor, so it will be easier for you to graduate in four years and fulfill all the requirements if you double minor instead of double majoring. Many schools have rules that prevent the same course from counting for too many requirements, though, so if you have a major and two minors in the same general field, such as natural science, be mindful of how your classes will count.
What Does Double Minor Mean in College?
In the past, it was much more cut and dry on what major you needed to get into grad schools, but now there is much more flexibility. By saying that you are graduating with a double minor, you will be graduating with a major and two different minors that you could pursue in the future. This means that you could go to grad school for one of your minors if you wanted to.
Double minoring does, however, mean more work while you are in college. You will have more requirements to meet and more courses to take, so you’ll want to keep that in mind when choosing your minors.
If you are interested in various topics and are likely to take lots of classes in a particular discipline, regardless of if you have a major or minor in that discipline, it can be worth it to look into getting a minor in that field. This will give you the written credit that you deserve for taking those courses throughout your time in college.
How Does a Double Minor Work?
Double minors work differently depending on the school that you are attending. If you go to a liberal arts school, it might be super common for students to double minor, meaning that the school has a good system in place for you to double minor. Some larger public universities don’t necessarily have that system in place, so it may be easier in those cases to have your minors be in the same category as your major.
Ultimately, the best way to figure out exactly how a double major or minor combination will work at your school is to talk to your advisor or someone else who works for the school, such as someone from the registrar’s office. We can give you as much advice as we can, but since each school is different, you will need to ask your school for your specific rules and specifications.
Regardless of your school, a minor will always be the lesser course of study that you choose, and having two minors is no different. Your chosen major will still need to be your priority and will still likely take up most of your time and course commitments.
How to Choose a Minor in College?
Choosing a minor in college is a lot like choosing a major, but less intense. Since every student in college must declare a major, most schools have pretty strict deadlines on when you have to declare your major. Since not every student will declare a minor, since they are optional, there tends to be more flexibility surrounding minors than there is with majors.
Each school is different, but for most schools, the first step to declaring a minor is to meet with your advisor and make sure that you have enough time to take the required courses. Sometimes this means meeting with your major advisor, and sometimes this means finding a new minor advisor in this new field of study.
Generally, you will need to pick a minor advisor before you officially declare a minor. In some schools, who you select as your minor advisor is entirely up to you. Other schools have set minor advisors for each field of study. For example, in larger schools, one professor may be the advisor to all students who choose to minor in that field, meaning that you won’t always get a choice in who your minor advisor is.
The step that makes it official is almost always filling out a form and turning it in, either in person or online, to the registrar’s office. These are the people who manage all the courses that every student in your school takes. They also keep all the records of who has declared what major or minor.
Is Double Minor Worth It?
A double minor can be worth it, but it also can have pretty minimal rewards. It all depends on you and what you do with your minors. If you are not sure exactly what path you are interested in pursuing after college, having multiple majors or minors can be a great way to give yourself some training to enter a variety of fields.
A double minor can also be a great way to build a course of study all your own. For example, if you want to go into physical education, but your university doesn’t have a specific course of study dedicated to that, you can create a course that works for you. You might want to major in education and a double minor in human anatomy and economics or any other subject that interests you.
One thing to be sure of when you choose to double minor is that you are actually interested in the subjects you will be studying. Having a major and two minors will mean that you have a lot of required courses to get through, so actually enjoying them all can make it so much better for you.
A double minor is also a great option if you can’t pick what exactly it is that you want to study. Maybe you are interested in going down a pre-med track so you can major in biology, but you aren’t 100% sure that you really want to be a doctor. You might think about adding a minor or two in some other subjects that interest you. This means that down the road if you decide that you don’t want to pursue medicine, you have two different areas of study that you could continue to pursue.
What are Some Drawbacks of Having a Double Minor?
A double minor can have some drawbacks that are worth considering. Remember, though, that each of these drawbacks may not have an impact on your specific situation so take some time to reflect on how these may fit into your life.
Here are a few of the most common downsides or drawbacks to having a double minor:
A double minor can be seen as taking extra courses that won’t help you. If you are attending a school where you pay per credit taken, adding in another minor can be costly and isn’t likely to have a massive impact on your career. The cost of having a double minor can be a considerable downside to some people.
One thing to think about as you start college is how long you plan on being in college. Most students budget out their college years at least somewhat before they start by deciding how long they will take to graduate. While the norm is graduating in four years, you can graduate in more or fewer years than that, but something like a double minor is definitely something that will affect that.
One major reason why some schools don’t allow students to even consider having a double minor is that it can add more stress to the already stressful life of a college student. Due to the structure of some schools, having two minors can be immensely stressful and while it can feel rewarding, having two minors as opposed to either a second major or just one minor is not always the most beneficial in the long run.
As with any choice you make in college, you should consider how the added pressure and stress will affect you and your life. You should reflect on how it will impact your mental and physical health, time management abilities, and other commitments. These factors will play a role in deciding if a double minor is a suitable choice for you.
Limited career benefits
If you are looking to create a combination of majors and minors that will benefit you the most once you begin your career, looking at a double minor is almost never the best path. Choosing to double major and have no minors or even one major and one minor is often much more streamlined and valuable in the long run.
There is always going to be debate about what the best combination of majors and minors will be to ensure your best career options, and the honest answer is it all depends. It depends on you and where you’re going to school and what you want to do, and when you want to do it, so while having a double minor may be limiting to some, it doesn’t have to be at all.
Wrapping Things Up: Can You Double Minor?
So while a double minor might be a great option for some people, it is not the only option if you want to take more than one major during your time in college. There are pros and cons to having a double major and, since the world and job markets are constantly changing, the correct answer today might not be the right answer five years from now.
The most important thing to think about when making any choices regarding your college career is to reflect on what you value most. If you are genuinely interested in a variety of disciplines and will find a double minor rewarding, then, by all means, go for it!
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