General Advice on Choosing a Minor

When choosing a minor, try to think about what might be valuable for your future career.  For example, if you plan to work in any government positions, knowledge of French is valuable, and French might be a good minor.  Planning to go to medical school?  Biology or Chemistry are good choices.  Thinking of health promotion?  Nutrition or Kinesiology might be good.  Considering social work? Sociology is a natural choice.  Aiming towards law school? A multidisciplinary minor in Legal Studies would be valuable.  Explore the various options outlined below to see what sounds most relevant to your goals. 

Remember, too, that minors can also be for fun, or to allow you to fulfill your curiosity or explore your passions. You will be busy during your time at university, and it’s important to maintain some balance.  Choosing a minor that you will really enjoy can help you maintain that balance.  If you really love to read, minor in English and have an excuse to read for credit.  If you’re a musician, a minor in Music could provide hours of enjoyment.  If you have tried a bit of computer programming and enjoyed it, but never had time to pursue it seriously, do a minor in Computer Science and pursue it now.  If you really don’t know anything about Geology but think it sounds intriguing, minor in Geology and learn more. Browse the calendar or the timetable, looking not only at introductory courses but also at upper-year courses, and see which subjects jump out at you as something you want to learn more about.

If more than one introductory course is offered in the discipline you are considering as a minor, be sure to look ahead to see what courses are required as prerequisites for upper-year courses within that discipline, and take the most appropriate introductory course.  For example, if you want to minor in English, you must take ENGL 1413/1423, as that is the requirement for all English courses at the 2000 level and beyond; ENGL 1213/1223 can be used to fulfill the Arts core requirement, but does not allow you to get into any upper-level English courses. BIOL 1113/1123 will allow you to take any Biology courses at the 2000+ level, but BIOL 1813/1823 will only allow you to take certain upper-year courses.

Remember, BSc students can minor in any subject.  BA students must minor in either an Arts subject or a multidisciplinary minor within Arts, unless they get special permission from the Dean of Arts.

Arts Minors:  Subjects available for minors within the Faculty of Arts include Canadian Studies, Classics, Economics, English, Environmental and Sustainability Studies, French, German, History, Latin, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology, Spanish, Theatre, and Women’s and Gender Studies.  The Faculty of Arts is set up assuming students will be doing a 24 h minor, so there are almost always plenty of courses available that are open to anyone who has taken the appropriate introductory course. Consult the calendar to make sure you are taking the most appropriate introductory course.  Also consult the calendar, because sometimes there are courses available in other disciplines that can be offered for minor credit (e.g., some Interdisciplinary Studies courses, some Women’s and Gender Studies courses, some courses in closely-related fields).  Any course that indicates it may be offered for major or elective credit in a particular discipline can also be counted towards a minor in that discipline.

Environmental Science, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, Nutrition, and Computer Science.  The Faculty of Science is set up assuming students will be doing a smaller minor, often only 12 h, and can take as many courses as they want at the 1000 level.  Therefore, although it is possible for students in the Faculty of Arts to minor in a Science subject with permission, it might be difficult for them to find enough courses open to non-majors to allow them to fulfill their 24 h, with no more than 6 h at the 1000 level.  Be sure to look ahead in the calendar to see what upper-year courses are available to you. Psychology Arts students wanting to minor in a Science subject might potentially be better off switching to a BSc in Psychology (click here for more information on BA vs. BSc requirements).

Professional Studies minors:  Subjects available for minors within the Faculty of Professional Studies include Business, Kinesiology, and Community Development. Many courses within Professional Studies are restricted to majors, which can sometimes make it challenging to fulfill minor requirements.  We have reached an agreement with the School of Recreation Management and Kinesiology (SRMK) to ease this process.  Psychology students wishing to minor in either Community Development or Kinesiology must obtain written permission to do so from both the Head of Psychology and the Director of SRMK; BA students must also obtain permission from the Dean of Arts to minor in a non-Arts subject. Available courses come from a specified list (click here for details).  BA Psychology majors take the usual 24 h of courses in the minor, but note that BSc Psychology majors wishing to minor in Recreation Management or Kinesiology will take 18 h of minor courses, not the usual 12 h. BA students must remember that they have to take 96 h from the Faculties of Arts and Sciences; therefore, if they complete their minor in Professional Studies, they cannot take any other courses in Professional Studies beyond their 24 h minor.

You must have completed at least one term of university-level study to be admitted to one of these minors, and must have a GPA of at least 2.75 (roughly a C+ level).  If you meet these requirements, you will be accepted into their minor program, and the Director of SRMK will then sign you into the courses you need.  You complete the normal number of credit hours for a minor (i.e., 15 h for Science students; 24 h for Arts students).  Choose whichever courses are of most interest to you and best fit your future career, in consultation with the Director of SRMK. BA students should remember that they have to take 96 h from the Faculties of Arts and Sciences; therefore, if they complete their minor in Professional Studies, they cannot take any other courses in Professional Studies beyond their 24 h minor

We are currently in discussions with the School of Business to reach a similar agreement, making it easier for our majors to minor in Business.  Meanwhile, if you are considering minoring in Business, get permission to do so from the Dean of Arts if you’re a BA student, and then contact the School of Business for advice and additional information.

Theology minor: It is possible for either Arts or Science students to complete a minor in Theology, through the Acadia Divinity College.  Courses available for undergraduates to take are shown here. Note that some courses are only offered every second year.  If you are interested in pursuing a Theology minor, you should contact the Registrar of the Divinity College for more information on which courses will be offered in which years, to help you plan your schedule. Again, BA students must remember that they have to take 96 h from the Faculties of Arts and Sciences; therefore, if they complete their minor in Theology, they cannot take any other courses outside of Arts and Sciences (e.g., no additional Theology courses; no Professional Studies courses) without special permission from the Dean of Arts

Multidisciplinary Minors:  Multidisciplinary minors allow you to complete a minor in a particular topic area, drawing on courses offered in a variety of disciplines that are relevant to that topic.  Currently available multidisciplinary minors include American Studies, Atlantic Canadian Studies, Canadian Studies, Comparative Religion, Cultural Studies, Diaspora Studies, Environmental Studies, Ethnocultural Diversity Studies, International Development Studies, Legal Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and World Literatures.  Click here for more information. These minors were initially developed within the Faculty of Arts, and can be taken as minors by BA students, with the usual 24 h requirement.  They can also be chosen as minors by BSc students, but note that they will require completion of 18 h of minor courses, not the usual 12 h.  Multidisciplinary minors are currently under development within the Faculty of Science, including a Health Sciences minor.  Contact the Dean of Science if you want more information on the current status of this minor.