College Majors and College Minors

College Majors and College Minors
  • Opening Intro -

    At some point while attending college you will have to declare your major.

    This can happen early in your freshman year, but usually no later before the end of your sophomore year.


Declaring a major means that you have identified the course of study you want to pursue that will lead to a specific degree. These courses typically follow the basic classes that every student takes and are started during your junior and senior years, sometimes earlier.

Some colleges and universities allow or require students to declare a minor. A minor is an area of concentration that goes beyond a major. For instance, you may be a Business Administration major with a minor in marketing, communications, or public relations.

Let’s take a look at college majors and college minors.

Credit Hours

At least the first 30 to up to 60 of your college credits are usually set aside for essential college classes that everyone takes including history, language arts, mathematics and science. An assortment of electives are also included.

Beyond that, the remaining credits cover your core college major courses. Within that core are four to six classes that compose your minor. At some schools the minor courses are separate from the core and may replace the electives required for graduation.

Your Career Choice

Nailing down your college major is one challenge, getting specific with a college minor may be the hardest part. Your college major and college minor will be listed on your resume. That minor can help set you apart from other applicants, especially if the area of study matches the job description.

When choosing a minor, consider your career choice. In the example of the business major, the student that intends to work in a corporation would choose pubic relations if the job involves contact with media and the public. Or the student would choose communications to manage internal communication with employees. A minor does not have to lock you into one path, but it should closely align with your aspirations.

Decisions, Decisions

If you are finding it difficult to choose a college minor, take heart: some schools allow students to declare a college major first and a college minor a semester or two later. This can be helpful for the student that wants to get his or her feet wet first to explore the options.

When exploring your choices, read up on the job descriptions for positions that align with your college minor choices. Likely, you’ll find more than one that interests you. If you are finding it difficult to choose between two different minors, you may be able to declare a dual minor.

Majoring in Minors

Although wrestling with your college major and college minor may produce much angst, know that many college students change their majors at least once before settling on what they want. Ultimately, the career path you choose may not have much to do with your college major or minor. Instead, employers may be most interested in your overall academic performance, skills and related experience.

See AlsoChange Your College Major With Care


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Categories: Academics