Minors

Overview

Minors are concentrations of study, similar to majors, but require fewer courses and therefore represent less depth than a full major. Not all majors have a corresponding minor (e.g. we have an Economics major, but no Economics minor) and minors exist that do not have a corresponding major (e.g. we have a Creative Writing minor, but no Creative Writing major). It is therefore useful to explore the Academic Guide’s Degree Programs page thoroughly to review all of your options. 

All minors must be declared no later than one semester before your Expected Graduation Term (EGT). See more details below in “Plan for or declare a minor.”

If you need a Minor Completion Form, see our Forms and Petitions page. 

Minors FAQ

Plan for or declare a minor

Program planning for a minor and declaring a minor is overseen by the minor department. You can find contact information for minor departments and their advisers in the Academic Guide or by visiting the website for the minor in which you are interested. 

Minors must be declared no later than one semester before your Expected Graduation Term (EGT). If that term is a Fall or Spring semester, the deadline is the last day of RRR week. If that term is Summer Sessions, the deadline is the last day of all Summer Sessions. 

Once you have an idea for what your minor program plan will look like, if you need additional support examining how it will fit into your academic plan as a whole, check out the Create a Long Term Program Plan page.

Drop a minor

You can drop a minor through your minor department. The minor will remain on the official transcript during the terms in which you were declared.

Minor in a different College

It is okay to declare a minor in a different college as long as the minor department will permit you to declare. You will be responsible for the College requirements and general policies for the College that hosts your major, but not for the College that hosts your minor. 

For general policies around add/drop deadlines, late changes to class schedule, etc., you will follow the policies and procedures of the College that hosts your major.

Non-L&S minors may have their own rules for their minor that students declared in that minor will follow, such as overlap rules, requirements or timeline for declaration, etc. Meet with the Minor Adviser to understand requirements and policies for that minor. 

How many minors are allowed?

You are allowed to declare as many minors as will fit into your semester or unit limits. It is valuable to note that students sometimes overestimate the value minors will have on future opportunities. A minor that helps you explore an interest or a potential career direction, or which helps you build a skill set, can be very valuable. But if you are finding that taking on multiple minors means you have to sacrifice hands-on opportunities like research or internships, or doing so keeps you from doing programs like study abroad, you may wish to meet a Career Counselor to determine which opportunities would best fit your long term goals.

Minors and semester/unit limits

You will need to complete minors within your semester limit and unit ceiling to complete a minor. Your semester limit and unit ceiling do not change as a result of adding on a minor. If you are unable to finish your minor within your limits, you will need to drop your minor. 

If you are unsure whether or not your minor plan will fit within your time limits for your degree, bring your major and minor program plan to an L&S College Adviser for help understanding your options.

Course overlap rules

L&S allows you to overlap one upper division course (courses numbered 100-199) between a major and a minor. By “overlap” we mean that one upper division course can be used to satisfy requirements for both your major and your minor.

If you have multiple majors or multiple minors, you are still only allowed to overlap one course total. Ex: If you are majoring in Comparative Literature and minoring in both German and Russian Literature, you could overlap an upper division course between either Comparative Literature and German or Comparative Literature and Russian Literature.

Overlap of upper division courses is not allowed between L&S minors. 

If an L&S student is pursuing a minor in another school or college with overlap policies that differ than L&S, the stricter of the two minor policies applies to the minor program. 

Minors on transcripts or diplomas

Minors are posted on the transcript alongside your major. Minors are not noted on diplomas.

Should I take on a minor?

There are many great reasons to take on a minor. A minor that helps you explore an interest or a potential career direction, or that helps you build a skill set, can be very valuable, especially if your major is in a different area. 


It is valuable to note that students sometimes overestimate the value minors will have on future opportunities. If you are finding that taking on a minor means you have to sacrifice hands-on opportunities like research or internships or keeps you from participating in programs like Berkeley Study Abroad, you may wish to meet a Career Counselor to understand which opportunities will best support your long term goals.