A minor is an additional area of specialization (25-35 credits). You are not required to have a minor, but you may complete up to three in addition to a major. See if there is a minor you are interested in on our list of minors.
Minors offer you a way to explore a department or interdisciplinary theme with less commitment of time than a major. Where a major requires at least 50 credits, most minors require only 25 to 35 credits.
Because the courses in your minor can also count toward general education requirements, if you plan carefully you may be able to complete one or two minors within the 180 credits required for your degree.
Minors are optional. You may complete as many as three minors per degree, or none at all.
What should I minor in?
You may choose to complete a minor related to your major. For example, if you major in chemistry you will already have a head start on a math minor, because the chemistry degree requires a lot of math.
Alternatively, you might choose to minor in an area that, combined with your major, gives you insight into an area you'd like to explore further in your career or in graduate or professional school. For example, you might major in environmental studies and minor in political science, then plan to go to law school and later specialize in environmental law. Or you might major in psychology and minor in music, then go on for further training in music therapy.
Or you might choose to minor in a subject completely unrelated to your major; this is completely legitimate, too. For example, if you major in mechanical engineering but are fascinated by the visual arts, you might decide to minor in Art History.
Does a minor look good on my transcript?
The value of a minor is difficult to quantify. Minors will not necessarily make you more attractive to graduate or professional programs or employers. You may find that many employers are not particularly interested in your major, much less your minor. Although you may complete a minor related to the career you hope to pursue after graduation, minors are mainly opportunities for you to explore in depth some of the vast resources of the University.
What are the admission requirements for minors?
Any undergraduate student with at least sophomore standing (45 credits completed) who is declared in a major may declare a minor. There are no departmental admission requirements for minors at UW-Seattle, except for Entrepreneurship which is capacity-constrained and requires an application to the Foster School of Business.
An exception to the rule that you must have 45 credits and a major to declare a minor is Marine Biology; you may declare a minor in Marine Biology at any time.
How do I declare a minor?
To declare a minor, meet with your major department adviser. Only the adviser in your major department may sign the form to declare a minor; this is to ensure students meet satisfactory progress requirements.
There are no deadlines for declaring minors, except that you cannot declare a minor after the deadline for applying to graduate. In other words, you cannot declare a minor after the third week of the quarter in which you intend to graduate.
Rules and regulations
Minors are optional. You may earn up to three minors as part of each degree completed. Postbaccalaureate students (students who have already earned a bachelor's degree) may not be awarded a minor.
Requirements to declare a minor
- Any undergraduate student with at least sophomore standing (45 credits completed) who is declared in a major may declare a minor. An exception to the rule that you must have 45 credits and a major in order to declare a minor is Marine Biology; you may declare a minor in Marine Biology at any time.
- Only the adviser in your major department can sign off to declare a minor; this is to ensure you meet university satisfactory progress requirements.
- You are strongly encouraged to meet with the minor adviser to discuss the subject matter of the minor and your plans for completing of the minor.
Credits required to earn a minor
- Most minors require 25-35 credits. In some cases, background requirements will increase this total.
- Most minors require a minimum of 50% or 15 credits (whichever is greater) must be completed in residence at the UW campus granting the minor.
- Most minors require a minimum 2.00 GPA for the courses taken to complete a minor.
- Some minors may require a minimum grade in each course taken for the minor. In such cases, the course-grade minimum is specified as part of the minor requirements, as listed in the General Catalog.
- If a course-grade minimum and GPA minimum is not specified, any passing numerical grade and minor gpa is acceptable.
- Courses taken S/NS may not be counted toward a minor.
Majors and minors
- You may not complete a major and a minor in the same program at the same time.
- Once you complete a major, you may not ever earn a minor in that program.
- Any undergraduate may declare any minor at UW-Seattle. Declaring a minor, however, is not a backdoor route toward entering a major. If a department has admission requirements for the major, you must apply and meet those requirements even if you have already declared a minor in that field.
- You may have a major in one college and a minor in another. You will complete the general education requirements of the college of your major; you are not required to meet the general education requirements of the college of your minor.
- You may have a major in the Evening Degree Program and a minor in the UW-Seattle day program, or vice versa. However, since there are limitations for Evening Degree Program students on taking day classes, students in this program should consult with their adviser on possible minor options.
- You may combine a major on one UW campus (Seattle, Bothell, Tacoma) with a minor from another campus. Cross-campus minors are declared via the Change of Major/Minor form, submitted to your home campus (not the campus offering the minor). You must be careful, however, to meet UW's residence requirement: at least 45 of the final 60 credits must be completed at the campus granting the degree. For more information see Cross-Campus Registration.
- Although you cannot major and minor in the same program at the same time, some majors and minors include courses from more than one department. In such cases you may overlap, but the amount of overlap might be restricted. For example, some Religion courses may count toward the Comparative History of Ideas minor. If you minor in Comparative History of Ideas and major in Comparative Religion, you may count these courses toward both your minor and your major with no restriction. However, the Diversity minor restricts overlap with your major to 10 credits. Be sure to check the minor requirements to determine how much overlap with your major is allowed.
- Courses in your minor may also count, as appropriate, toward foreign language, Q/SR, writing, and Areas of Knowledge requirements, without restriction.
- Postbaccalaureate students (students who have already earned a bachelor's degree) may not be awarded a minor.
- General questions about minors can be answered by your major department adviser or by a premajor adviser, but you are strongly encouraged to meet with a minor adviser to talk about the subject matter of the minor and your plans for competing the minor.
Applying to graduate
- Your degree application must list any minors you plan to complete. Your major adviser will run a DARS audit for your minor and include it with your graduation application.
- Once you have declared a minor and have included it on your degree application, you must complete that minor or drop it officially, or you will not graduate. This protects you from being graduated when your actual intent is to continue on in order to complete the minor.
- If you want to add a minor after your graduation application has been submitted, see your adviser, who will update your application and notify the Graduation and Academic Records Office. You may not add a minor after the graduation application deadline — the third Friday of the quarter in which you plan to graduate — unless at the same time you postpone your graduation date to a later quarter.
Certifying completion of a minor
- Minors will be posted on your transcript.
- A minor must be awarded at the same time a bachelor's degree is awarded.
Minors (that are also majors)Aeronautics and Astronautics
American Indian Studies
Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
Community, Environment, and Planning
Comparative History of Ideas
Earth and Space Sciences
Environmental Science and Terrestrial Resource Management
Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies
Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Law, Societies, and Justice
Materials Science and Engineering
Near Eastern Languages and Civilization
Slavic Languages and Literatures
South Asian Languages and Literature (Hindi and Sanskrit)
Minors onlyAerospace Studies
American Sign Language
Bioethics and Humanities
Classics and Ancient History
Comparative Islamic Studies
Education, Learning, and Society
Environmental Cultures and Values
History of Science
Middle East Studies
Neural Computation and Engineering
Russia, East Europe and Central Asia Studies
Russian Literature/Slavic Literatures
Urban Design and Planning
Urban Ecological Design
Minors offered by UW-TacomaAmerican Indian Studies
Ecological Restoration (Tacoma)
Health and Society
Human Rights (Tacoma)
Law and Policy
Nonprofit Studies (Tacoma)
Social Science Research Methods
Technical Communication (Tacoma)
Minors offered by UW-BothellBusiness Administration (Bothell)
Computing & Software Systems
Ecological Restoration (Bothell)
Education & Society
Health Studies (Bothell)
Human Rights (Bothell)
Teaching & Learning