Why choose a minor?

A minor is a prescribed academic plan that is secondary to your chosen major, and can benefit you in one of several ways.

  • It can complement your major. You may find that majoring in computer science benefits from the additional coursework in a mathematics minor, or a biology major with a chemistry minor fits together neatly to help you understand biochemistry or cell biology. 
  • It can allow you to explore something outside of your major. Many science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students find that they still love art, music, languages or psychology, so the minor helps them continue studying these areas after declaring a major.
  • You may already be taking courses toward a minor.  Since many STEM majors require some courses in other fields, a minor in a closely related field often requires only a few additional courses. Examples include mathematics (required in the degree plans for computer science, engineering and physics) or chemistry (required for biology).
  • It can require less time than double-majoring. We know it is hard to decide on a major, since it commits you to a plan of study prescribed by the degree plan. A double major can take substantial time and sometimes additional semesters to complete. A minor can be completed using your elective credits for your degree.
  • You can minor in an area that is not available as a major. MCOSME has minors in high performance computing or cybersecurity, and other colleges have minors in nonprofit management, early childhood studies, or in women's and gender studies that are applicable to a broad range of majors.

MSU has a large list of all available minors that you can explore in the catalog. The STEM minors in the McCoy College are listed below, along with the common majors that pursue them.

Biology

Useful for pre-professional students majoring in chemistry, or for students in psychology or who are majoring in Health Sciences and Human Services degree programs.

Chemistry

Often pursued by pre-professional students as well as majors in biology or geosciences. Might be recommended for engineering students interested in chemical engineering. 

Computer Science

Four options available for a computer science minor, and these minors are often pursued by students in mathematics, engineering, mass communications, criminal justice or business. Computational science might be useful for anyone in STEM.

Geosciences

Beneficial for majors in biology, chemistry or engineering, or for students who might be interested in teaching.

Mathematics

A good complement to all majors, but especially of use to chemistry, computer science, engineering, and geosciences.

Physics

Works well with majors in chemistry, computer science, engineering, and geosciences.