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Why You Should Consider Adding a Minor

By Andrew Smith

College students are often faced with difficult decisions when registering for classes. What electives should I take within my major? Should I look for an internship? Maybe I should pursue a lighter load this semester? Do I look into the possibility of declaring a minor or even a double major?

By declaring a minor, a student has the opportunity to learn about another profession and lay the groundwork for a potential career. Photo by IStock

Many of these questions are difficult to answer and students are often forced to make these decisions during the second half of the semester as finals week looms in the distance. These questions are important for all students to address but let's take a look at just one: Why should you consider adding a minor?

Adelphi suggests, “Students wanting to declare a minor should do so by the first semester of their junior year, but by no later than the beginning of the first semester of their senior year.”

By doing so, this will allow students to have time to be properly advised and take the required courses during their final semesters at Adelphi.

Many departments offer and suggest minor tracks for their students to gain other experiences in addition to their primary area of study.

Greg Bouris, undergraduate sport management director and academic advisor, explained the importance of broadening your horizon. “I believe a minor degree provides a few benefits to students,” he said.“It allows students to strengthen their major degree by selecting a complementary area of study. For example, a marketing major may want to minor in psychology, which plays a vital role in marketing. Selecting a minor also allows students to strengthen their career options by having two areas to pursue.”

Pyria Wadhera, chair of the Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Department, also noted the importance of pursuing a minor. “It is a great way to explore a secondary area of study in a serious way, and reflect how diverse your interests are,” she said. “By pursuing a minor, students gain insights on another field and widen their perspective on the world.”

By taking classes in another area of study, you are not only learning the foundation of another subject, but also learning about career opportunities that may exist in that field. I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in an internship that qualified as part of a minor in communications. During this internship, I was able to take what I have learned in the classroom and get my foot in the industry while receiving credit for a minor degree.

Academic advisors will also encourage their students to pursue minors that are related to their primary area of study to add more tools in their respective tool belt.

“In sports management, specifically, we advise all of our majors to select a minor in the industry segment or discipline that interests them,” Bouris noted. “Many of our students pursue communications, marketing or business minors.”

Bouris also teased the new minor degree in coaching that will be available for students beginning in fall 2023. This is a great opportunity for students pursuing physical education, exercise science, management and even education if they hope to be a coach at school one day.

Professor Pyria Wadhera strongly suggests students minor in a language to boost their intercultural competence and soft skills that employers prize.

Wadhera also expressed her experience with advising students in the language department.

“I strongly advise minoring in a language since we live in a multilingual world, and it is a good way to show employers you are capable of working in other markets, with clients and customers whose native language is not English,” Wadhera said. “What better way to learn about them, their interests and their needs and truly understand where they are coming from? In short, languages are a great way to boost intercultural competence, a soft skill employers prize.”

A minor degree has the power to enhance a student’s primary degree and give them opportunities they would not otherwise have if they only looked to take electives during their lighter semesters. Challenge yourself. Sometimes it may all just work out.

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