Undergraduate Education

Choosing an Undergraduate Minor

Choosing a Minor

Minors offer you a way to explore a department, interdisciplinary theme, or topical area with less commitment of time than a major. A minor can be completed in as few as 16 units, with most minors requiring about 20 to 24 units. Minors are optional. You may complete multiple minors or none at all. USC is home to a variety of schools and programs, from history and public policy to painting and digital media; from business and communication to music performance and art history. Why not take advantage of the wide and diverse selection of programs and subjects that USC has to offer?

What should I minor in?

With 150 minor programs at USC, choosing just one minor can be challenging! There are lots of different ways to approach choosing a minor. It all depends on what matters most to you. Here are a few reasons you might want to add a minor:

  • Adding depth to your studies - You may choose to complete a minor related to your major. Choosing a minor that complements your major can help you concentrate your studies in the underlying discipline. For example, you might add a history major to your Cinematic Arts Critical Studies major to deepen your understanding of the social context of the films you study. Or if you major in Business Administration you will already have a head start on an economics minor, because of the overlap in requirements.
  • Adding breadth to your studies - You might choose to minor in an area that, combined with your major, gives you insight into an area you'd like to explore further in your career or in graduate or professional school. For example, you might major in environmental studies and minor in political science, then plan to go to law school and later specialize in environmental law. Or you might major in psychology and minor in music, then go on for further training in music therapy.
  • An area of passion - You might choose to minor in a subject which may or may not be related to your major to continue your personal interest in the arts, technology, a local or global cause, etc. For example, if you major in computer science but have had dance lessons most of your life, you might decide to minor in dance. Or, if you major in English but have always been curious about your personal health, you might decide to minor in Nutrition and Health Promotion.
  • An alternative to double majoring - You really want to study both History and Business, but you also want to graduate on time. Why not major in one area and minor in the other? Some minors are really like mini-majors where you will learn the fundamentals of the subject without the commitment and additional requirements of a major.

Whether you go for the Renaissance ideal and choose a minor that is 180 degrees from your major, or you select a minor that gives you deeper understanding of your major, completing a minor can give you an interdisciplinary perspective with insights into the diverse and dynamic nature of each field.

What are the admission requirements for minors?

Admission requirements for minors vary by department. Most departments prefer that you have a declared major and are at least a sophomore before beginning and/or declaring a minor. Some departments have an application for their minor programs and may require a minimum GPA, while other departments have open admission where the minor may be added by any student. Check with the department of the minor regarding any admission standards or application procedures for the minor.

How do I declare a minor?

Depending on the admission requirements for the minor, declaring a minor may be a single form that is processed right away, or it may be a complete application that will be reviewed. To declare a minor, visit with the department of the minor and make sure you follow all of the necessary steps to add the minor. Once the minor is added to your records, it will appear on your STARS report.

Minors: Rules and Regulations

USC Undergraduate Programs