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Minors: Rules and Regulations

USC does not require students to complete a minor. However, a minor allows you to take advantage of the extensive offerings across the university. There are a few rules to keep in mind when pursuing a minor. Similar to majors, you must complete all upper-division courses for a minor at USC, you may not take any minor requirements on a Pass/No Pass basis, and you must earn a minimum 2.0 GPA in all courses required for the minor.

Minors and Majors

Minors must be completed simultaneously with a major degree program. A minor may not be completed by itself, independent of a major program. This means you cannot earn a minor after you have already earned your bachelor’s degree(s). You need at least one active major in order to pursue a minor. Multiple minors can be linked to the completion of a single major.

Also be aware that since the minor must be completed with a major, any outstanding minor requirements will prevent the awarding of the degree for your major. If you ultimately decide to graduate without the minor, the minor must be removed from your records before your degree can be processed.

Eligibility for Minors

In addition to any admission requirements, in order to declare a minor you must select a minor program that is outside of your major department. Minors that are made up exclusively of courses from a single department may not be earned by students majoring in that department. For example, if you are majoring in Business Administration, you would not be able to minor in Marketing, Business Law, or any of the other minors from the Marshall School of Business.

You may choose an interdepartmental minor which includes courses from your major department as long as at least four courses (at least 16 units) completed for the minor are not courses offered by the major department.

Credits Required and Overlaps Allowed

A minor requires at least 16 units. Most minors require 20-24 units. In some cases, background requirements will increase this total. For example, the Spanish minor requires 24 credits of Spanish communication and culture courses, but the Spanish communication courses require Spanish III proficiency which may necessitate additional courses in Spanish language.

Courses for the minor may overlap with your major or another minor requirements. However, there must be at least four courses (at least 16 units) which are unique to the minor and do not overlap with requirements for your major or another minor.


The requirements of most minors are straightforward. However, just like majors, some minors require careful sequencing of courses. If you have any questions about the requirements to complete a minor you should consult the advisor in the department offering the minor.

General questions about minors can be answered by your major department advisor and you will want to make sure you consult with your major advisor about how best to incorporate the requirements for your minor with your major requirements, general education, etc.

Completion of a Minor

A minor must be awarded at the same time a bachelor’s degree is awarded. Minors will be posted on your transcript and you will receive a separate minor certificate for each minor program completed.