For many years, everyone who went to college in the United States studied the same thing, receiving what was called a liberal education. Over the years, the evolution of education has brought about drastic changes.
What is a major and what is a minor?
The major is the subject on which the student’s career is focused. Most courses will be in the major and the person graduates with a degree in that field, e.g. Public Health, History, Architecture, Geomatics, Statistics, Biochemistry, Engineering, Business, etc. (Remember that these courses depend on the university, each of them has different educational programmes).
On the other hand, the minor is a secondary subject that complements the major. Minors
require between 8 and 10 courses and may or may not be related to the major. For example, there are cases where the student studies a major in international business with a minor in accounting and there are also cases where the student studies a major in international business with a minor in accounting.
How is it possible to do a Minor and a Major at the same time?
The first thing to understand is that American institutions require students to complete a certain number of required courses or electives. For example, if you need to complete 120 credits (this is the requirement in most of them) to complete and graduate from an engineering major at X university, a percentage of these credits must be completed through elective or compulsory courses previously assigned by the institution.
This is where the minor becomes a reality, because the student has the opportunity to exchange these elective courses for the minor courses.
How to concrete that reality?
The first thing the student should do is to understand that taking a minor means a greater amount of effort and energy. Then, the student should find out as much as possible before leaving for the institution or even before applying, simply by visiting the institution’s website and reading about its higher education programmes. In addition, students should take advantage of their academic advisors who have a full understanding of the majors, minors and their complementarity from day one.
The minor can give the student the skills and abilities to obtain very interesting life opportunities. The key is in the planning!