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Old 08-25-08, 08:37 PM   #1
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Choice of a minor

It's go time: I need to start thinking about a minor. I've already loosely committed by becoming an economics major, which the college classifies as a social science (justifiably so). I was considering history as a minor, but am informed that because the college classifies history as a social science, I am unable to do this. I am not allowed to major and minor in a social science, or any one classification at that. The one way I can get around this is by having a double minor, with one minor being of a different classification (humanities or natural science). Then I am considering physics or English. Or I could have one minor, and ditch history.

Do any of you Foosters have any wisdom to impart? Post-undergrad life almost certainly consists of more higher education, with law school an option on the table.
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Old 08-25-08, 09:26 PM   #2
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careful they will throw you in jail if you spend too much time thinking about minors.
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Old 08-25-08, 09:30 PM   #3
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A minor? No flats or sharps to worry about.
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Old 08-25-08, 09:31 PM   #4
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Old 08-25-08, 09:41 PM   #5
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careful they will throw you in jail if you spend too much time thinking about minors.
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A minor? No flats or sharps to worry about.
Okay, you've both earned a beer on me.
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Old 08-25-08, 09:49 PM   #6
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Do you need to declare a minor? If not, why not focus on your major first and make sure you're definitely doing what you want before branching out to other stuff? If you must, is there an applied math minor? You'll definitely want good math if you're going to proceed with economics, so they'll tie together nicely.
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Old 08-25-08, 10:15 PM   #7
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The college requires a major and a minor to graduate. Also, the major and minor may not be in the same category. I believe the only required math for an econ major is Calc I, but they recommend Calc II and Linear algebra. Also there is a class called optimization which they recommend for eager econ majors.
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Old 08-25-08, 11:16 PM   #8
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The college requires a major and a minor to graduate. Also, the major and minor may not be in the same category. I believe the only required math for an econ major is Calc I, but they recommend Calc II and Linear algebra. Also there is a class called optimization which they recommend for eager econ majors.
Add stats, and go for math. Even if it isn't in the right department for major or minor requirements, consider a course in experimental design. It can be one of the most useful courses in developing critical thinking skills.
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Old 08-25-08, 11:19 PM   #9
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Archeology or anthropology or art or something you really enjoy.
You are going to grad school anyway and no one ever gives a **** about what your minor was.
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Old 08-25-08, 11:24 PM   #10
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All I can say is if there is a phys ed requirement, take yoga. If for nothing other than the massages at the end of class.
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Old 08-25-08, 11:54 PM   #11
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I'm taking Music History and Russian language as my minors...not because they'll be any use, but because they're gosh darn fun.

IMO, there are three routes to go when choosing a minor--a field that will be useful to you, a field that you find fun, or a field that does both.
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Old 08-26-08, 12:11 AM   #12
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A minor? No flats or sharps to worry about.
Oh snap, I was just about to make a remark about relative minors...
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Old 08-26-08, 12:14 AM   #13
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I'm still trying to wrap my head around history as a social science..... ???

My degree doesn't require a minor, but does require 3 courses in upper level Humanities. In vain have I argued that since I already hold a B.A. in the Humanities, they do not have to worry about my being "well-rounded." (After fourteen years of undergrad studies and ten changes in major, my problem is NOT one of being insufficiently rounded. Focus is my problem, fairly obviously!). Nope. But they did take one Italian course and a History of Science that were left over on my transcript so now I only have to take one.

I was not terribly tactful when the advisor suggested a class in Communication: "The Television Age." I may in fact have laughed aloud and asked if she would please share whatever she was smoking. I also declined the pleasure of taking "History of Popular Music," "Being Online" (although to be honest this one did sound somewhat interesting from a social psychology point of view, but I was just annoyed by then), "Film and Genre," or a History course that focused on ancient Rome (the advisor's reasoning being that it would be an easy course; she does not know me well enough to realize that I don't beat dead horses. Well, much).

I'm going to try to talk my way into either Biomedical Ethics or a Religious Studies class that is cross-listed with Psychology (I'm interested in Jung).
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Old 08-26-08, 12:25 AM   #14
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When I was in school I mostly focused on
scheming to get grades for grad school so don't
take anything hard now that will screw up your GPA.
It is harder to get into grad school now unless you
do some crazy volunteer work and or rock
a great LSAT and have a high GPA. Not to scare ya.

BTW before you apply to law school force yourself to
sit in on a class or two and maybe look at model answers
to exams. See what all you are signing up to do.
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Old 08-26-08, 09:01 AM   #15
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history is not a social science, jeez

anyway, maybe you can take ancient history from the classics department?
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Old 08-26-08, 09:04 AM   #16
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A minor? No flats or sharps to worry about.
A minor is the same as C major? knew I should have paid more attention to that circle of fifths.
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Old 08-26-08, 09:16 AM   #17
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Hmm... I think I agree with what Jason said, but I'm a bit confused by your university's refusal to grant a major and minor in one classification. In my case, I ended up getting a double major (political science, Russian & E. European studies), then discovered going into my last year that if I took two more history courses, I could get a minor in history -- so that's what I did.

Do you really have to decide this now? How much flexibility are you going to have later? (and, I guess, how much flexibility do you want?)

(Edit: FWIW, I kind of wish I had done some economics... seems like a very good thing to have)
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Old 08-26-08, 09:42 AM   #18
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It's go time: I need to start thinking about a minor. I've already loosely committed by becoming an economics major, which the college classifies as a social science (justifiably so). I was considering history as a minor, but am informed that because the college classifies history as a social science, I am unable to do this. I am not allowed to major and minor in a social science, or any one classification at that. The one way I can get around this is by having a double minor, with one minor being of a different classification (humanities or natural science). Then I am considering physics or English. Or I could have one minor, and ditch history.

Do any of you Foosters have any wisdom to impart? Post-undergrad life almost certainly consists of more higher education, with law school an option on the table.
Double major.
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Old 08-26-08, 09:48 AM   #19
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I am a sophomore now, and have until the end of the year to formally declare a major. Changing major/minor is an option, but unless I chose my classes very strategically, It would require an extra semester. I am confused as to why history is considered a social science as well. Generally it is regarded as a humanity. It may have something to do with the course content of the classes, but I am just speculating unless I look at the catalog.

The school wants students to be knowledgeable in many subject areas. This is why one may not major and minor in the same classification -- for lack of a better word, unless they double minor in something else.

I feel like economics combines my like of technical things with my desire for an analytical subject. It requires math -- no doubt, but not nearly as much as an engineer or physics major. It also will present me with many opportunities to write academic papers, which I enjoy more than lab reports or mathematical proofs! My hope is that a minor will loosely, almost indirectly, compliment my major. if I go to law school, I feel like -- as does the pre law adviser here -- just about any choice of minor will be beneficial.
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Old 08-26-08, 09:52 AM   #20
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Double major is something I am not considering at this moment. The key word being, at this moment. Right now I need to become acclimated to the new environment and become comfortable and maybe even proficient at handling the workload before I commit to a lot more. If I feel like I am handling the upcoming work load well, then I will absolutely consider a double major; I want to get the most out of my money, of which I am spending a lot of. If I choose a double major, I will be exempt from choosing a minor, just as long as the second major is not in the same classification as the first.
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Old 08-26-08, 10:00 AM   #21
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Sounds like economics is right up your alley... I would go for that, take whatever minor you think would be useful, and then round it up with some history courses, if that's what you're interested in. I wouldn't worry too much if the history courses don't add up to a particular program.

I should add that I did a full victory lap (i.e. fifth year), which is what allowed me to add the last-minute minor.
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Old 08-26-08, 10:04 AM   #22
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Right now I need to become acclimated to the new environment and become comfortable and maybe even proficient at handling the workload before I commit to a lot more.
I know it's rare, but in this case, I completely agree with you. I hate the idea of a forced minor. Better to be really good at something than to be mediocre at a bunch of stuff. But yeah, make sure to nail down your choice of major (How long did you think you wanted to study engineering/physics? How long have you pursued economics? Things can change a lot!) and make sure to be thriving in that choice no matter what you might pick for a minor!

For what it's worth, I went to a school that did not award minors or double majors but allowed students to freely take courses outside of their major. I fully appreciated the freedom to do as I saw fit, which in my case was to load up heavily on courses in a broad range of scientific disciplines and take a minimal number of humanities courses. Oddly, this strategy was first suggested to me by my freshman year academic advisor, a dean of one of the humanities programs. He figured that I could always pick up knowledge about anything else I was curious about in the future, but I only had four years to take maximum advantage of the really strong sciences at the university. Of my three sisters, all considered double majors or a minor. One majored in biology, with a second major in music (with an emphasis on performance piano). Her senior recital was one of my highlights of 2003. She now has an MD. One majored in biology and asked me one day whether she should major in chemistry since she only needed to take two more classes. I asked her since she was already assured her spot in dental school, why she cared so much for a second major that might take away from time she could be playing varsity water polo. She decided not to get the major in chemistry and to spend the time playing water polo. She now has a DDS. The other one majored in biology and was minoring in accounting but ultimately dropped the minor since she didn't want to take even more accounting classes. She's now in med school. There's no one right answer about how practical a minor (or second major) should be or how specialized one should be. But definitely make sure the major is taking you where you want before worrying too much about the other stuff.
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