Student Speak

Why you should consider completing a minor

Posted by Sarah Rae on September 20, 2018 at 9:10 AM

Welcome back, students! I hope you all had a wonderful summer full of sleep, good food and spending quality time with your family and friends. To kick off this semester, I will be sharing some information in regards to possible minor programs available to you at the university. 

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At this point in time, the majority of you, I’m sure, have gone through the complex thought process of selecting your major. The great thing about choosing a minor is that most times it comes easy and isn’t as long of a process as choosing your major, since it is based on interests you already know you have!

For those of you who aren’t exactly sure what having a minor means, a minor is essentially a set of courses (typically six or eight at this university) you will take to compliment or enhance the value of your major.

To start this process, you will typically choose your field of interest, for example, Biology. You will then look at the pre-designed course path to complete the minor to ensure all requirements are fulfilled for when it is time to declare your minor before graduation.

One important thing to note is registering for minor courses. To register, you can do this when you are doing your typical fall/winter register through MyCampus. Something you need to consider though, is any prerequisites for the minor courses you’re interested in taking.

The best advice I can give is to meet with the academic advisor for the faculty your minor is in and ask them to confirm you can take the courses based on what you have already completed. It is also important to note that some minor courses require you to have permission from the faculty’s academic advisors to register on MyCampus. 

As an example, say you are doing a major in Biology, under the Faculty of Science, and you are interested in completing a minor in Forensic Psychology (a common theme for Biology students here!). You would first need to visit an academic advisor from the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, so that they could walk you through the course path and ensure you have the required prerequisites. Once you have done this, you're all set and ready to register during the regular time period.

All of this information, including the minors available at the university and their specific course maps, can be found on the university’s minor programs page.

So now that you have an overview of the steps to take, you’re probably wondering what the actual benefits are of completing a minor and the reasons why you should consider it. 

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Personal fulfillment 

Most of the time, students who make the decision to pursue a minor are doing so because they are passionate about multiple different fields of study and would like to experience both during their undergraduate degree.

For instance, you may be pursuing a major in Chemistry but have a love for art or music, so you will pursue a minor in the arts field as well. By doing this, it allows you to still complete the requirements for the major you will be utilizing in your desired career, but at the same time allow you to take courses you enjoy, adding more meaning to your overall university experience.

While studying and taking your schooling seriously is important during your time here, it is just as important (if not more important) to be learning about something you’re passionate about. One of my favourite modern-day quotes from Steve Jobs, which relates to this point in its entirety, states, “the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

Professional enrichment 

The other main benefit of pursuing a minor is the increased professional development that comes along with it.

Having a minor to add to your resume makes you more employable and a competitive candidate when applying to post-graduate programs.

Having a minor attached to your name displays that you hold specific interests and a good foundation of knowledge in multiple fields of study. This is extremely beneficial as having a background in two different fields opens up an increased amount of potential post-graduate programs to choose from.

Lastly, the addition of a minor adds that extra versatility to your major. For instance, if you are a science student adding a minor with a concentration on communication and creativity, you are able to enhance both hard and soft skill sets, giving yourself that well-rounded attribute that is admired by employers.

giphy (3)So, with all of that being said, I hope that I was able to convince some of you to consider adding a minor to your current field of study! It wasn’t until my third year here that I really considered completing a minor myself, and now with it being my last year and having completed not one, but two minors, I’m grateful that I branched out and followed my own passions! 

Please feel free to leave your comments/questions surrounding minors available to you at the university and don’t forget to check out the minor programs page as well. 

 

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Topics: Academic