Ask the Advisors: What are the benefits of having a minor?

QUESTION:

What are the benefits of having a minor? Is it listed on your degree when you graduate? Is that any better than taking other courses not required for your major? For example, I want to take some comparative lit, education, and gender studies courses, but then I wouldn’t really have time to fit in a minor.

ANSWER:

There are definitely benefits of having a minor. There are also benefits of taking courses not required for your major. These benefits have much to do with what you value most when it comes to your education and what you want your education to say for itself when you have completed your degree.

Declaring a minor places it officially on your transcript and certifies on that official document that you worked specifically on courses that would say you have direct experience in that subject matter. This means you wouldn’t necessarily have to craft a story about how the courses in the minor connected directly to whatever subject you focused on. The minor speaks and stands for itself: “I minored in PR.” This could be the main benefit for students who have interests that can be labeled under the umbrella of a specific minor.

However, some students don’t have a singular interest that can be housed in a pretty, luxury apartment called a minor. Sometimes students want to take a broad approach to additional courses outside their major. Sometimes students want to live in a tiny home they can travel the country with and see a lot of different things. Then, they can say when it comes time to speak about their coursework and degree that they have some knowledge on the varied topics to which they traveled.

So, ultimately, the real answer is as annoying as answering a question with a question is, but it’s–what are your real interests that motivate and inspire you and can they be found in a minor or will you have to travel around the university to find them?

Welcome Back!

Greetings to English and Creative Writing students old and new! You will notice some changes in this blog going forward. What was a career-focused microsite will now serve as a more general advising blog, hosted by Anna and Keshia, academic advisors in the English department.

But don’t worry! You will find plenty of new and relevant career-related content at the Humanities Professional Resource Center website. Our own Kirstin Wilcox is the Director, so feel free to reach out to her at kwilcox@illinois.edu if you have questions.

What we hope to offer here are musings on topics that we think will be of interest to you as English department students, as well as timely reminders of important events and opportunities. We hope that our insights will help guide you on your academic journey.