Academics > Academic Minors
Choosing an Academic Minor
Do you need a minor? What is the right minor for you? How can a minor help enhance your degree? These are all good questions that every undergraduate student should be able to answer.
Many students start college with a basic assumption about where their natural talents lie, what they enjoy doing, and what they want to do as a career when they graduate. However, if you are uncertain, there is nothing wrong with that. College is also the best time to explore your talents and find your direction.
Depending on your major, Holy Cross students need 40 to 45 credits to earn it. As you consider whether or not to choose a minor, remember minors require an additional 18 credits. Here is some information to think about:
There are three reasons to choose a minor:
- Strengthen or extend your field of study.
- Specialize your major for a very specific career path.
- Balance your education or pursue a secondary passion by doing something completely different than your major.
Strengthen or extend your field of study
Suppose you have chosen to be a Business major. There are several minors that could help strengthen that major by adding to your resume of talents. For example, a Business major with a minor in Communications will be practiced in public speaking. This could help you become an ideal candidate for sales, customer relations, or leadership positions. Business with a minor in Spanish and/or Global Perspectives could use this course combination to prepare for a career in International Business. Business with a minor in Visual Arts could be the educational basis for a career in arts management, museums, advertising, antique auctions or other arts-related businesses.
As you can see, by adding a minor to your major, you broaden your expertise and add to the sum of your career readiness. By doing this, you may also be intentionally specializing.
Specialize your major for a very specific career path
Some students enter college knowing exactly what they want to do with their life. You may already know, for example, that you want to have a career that allows you to travel between the US and Latin America as an international import/export specialist. Some large universities may offer "International Business" as a major. However, at Holy Cross, you could similarly specialize by combining a Business major with a Spanish minor and travelling to Peru as part of your International Perspective experience. To further specialize, you could also find an internship with a company that markets products in Latin America.
At Holy Cross you can create your own specialty. However, unlike a highly specialized university degree, your Holy Cross major won't limit you only to specialized positions. It is a more flexible degree. And, as you change your mind ... as the world changes ... flexibility may be your biggest asset.
There are many other examples of how a minor could help you specialize: For example a Theology major could minor in education to become a religion teacher, a Visual Arts major (Graphic Design Concentration) could minor in Communications to prepare for a career in advertising. A Psychology major could minor in Gerontology to prepare for a career in the elder care industry. A Studio Art major with a minor in Psychology could prepare to become an art therapist.
As you mix and match majors and minors, you will find the possibilities to specialize almost endless.
Your college minor can help to show potential internship coordinators, employers or graduate schools that you have expertise in a very specific area of your field.
Balance your education or pursue a secondary passion by doing something completely different from your major.
A third reason to pick a college minor is based purely on your interests and not at all on your career goals. For example, an English major can minor in Studio Art because of a love for drawing. A History major could minor in Psychology to satisfy a curiosity about how the mind works. A Business major could minor in Theology in order to further explore his or her faith.
Sometimes it is best to pursue your passions and go in the direction that is right for you. The world is filled with stories of great success from doggedly pursuing what you love.
NICE (Northern Indiana Consortium for Education)
Holy Cross College shares an alliance with several neighboring colleges (Saint Mary's College, Goshen College, Bethel College, Indiana University South Bend, and Ivy Tech College) which allows our students to take one course per semester from these other institutions without paying anything extra. With approval and on a space-available basis, Holy Cross students may enroll in courses offered by other N.I.C.E. institutions that are not offered at Holy Cross College. The student wishing to enroll in a N.I.C.E. class submits the request to his/her advisor. After approval by the Senior Vice President, the student obtains the form from the registrar's office on the first class day of the semester. No additional tuition is charged to students in N.I.C.E. courses (some course fees may be assessed). Students at Holy Cross College must be enrolled full-time to participate.
Credits earned at other institutions are considered as transferred credits and can apply to your major or minor.
N.I.C.E. allows Holy Cross students to choose additional elective classes from a variety that rivals any large university. Through carefully selected electives, students can also distinguish their qualifications for future employment or graduate school admissions.