Basically what it says in the heading, lengthy explanation below

At my university, just completing your major and general ed courses won't get you enough credits to graduate. This means that we have to either complete a minor (6 courses) or just take courses from other fields. Up until now I have just been taking courses that I thought were interesting, in a variety of fields, none of which have much, if anything, to do with my major (which is psychology). Minors don't show on the degree certificate - they're technically unofficial and you can only tell by going through the transcript that somebody's completed one. Al

the only two fields available at my university that have any real connection to psych are bio and computer science. The bio curriculum has next to nothing to do with psych though, except two courses which I am taking anyway. Judging from my experience in high school, I have no aptitude and not too much interest in CS. I could get a minor in sociology, which I do enjoying, but I don't plan to pursue social psych later on.

I'm sorry this has been so long. Basically, would it be advisable to minor in something related to psychology in order to boost my chances at grad school? Or is it okay if I finish my psychology requirements and electives and then just take other courses that I find interesting?

I'm an undergraduate, currently in the middle of my second year, so I still have time to finish a minor before I graduate and I'm very confused about everything.

  • Can you use those credits to take additional psychology courses? Jan 8, 2019 at 6:31

2 Answers 2


I don't think most schools will know or care about the nuances of the Sahana U minor system. Ergo, do what you want.

Since many schools don't require a minor at all, they won't worry about if you do the extra classes in history or math or basketweaving. They will just look to see that you are a psych major, what GPA you have, standardized test scores, essay, letter.

It's extremely unlikely that the content of those 6 diversification courses will affect any decisions. Just concentrate on doing well with whatever you do. And take what you like. The major is already covering key content needed for grad school.


To provide an anecdote, the Ph.D student who supervised me during my undergrad work as a psych major got admitted to the program because he minored in computer science and the professor needed someone computer savvy to help set up the lab he was starting up. I'm not saying he didn't deserve the spot, but I know other people who had also applied and they had far more expertise and experience in clinical psychology.

Whether your minor can contribute to the strength of your application depends on whether it can be used to make a strong case for your candidacy. For example, if you were applying to specialize in cognitive psychology or artificial intelligence, a minor in computer science might help depending on the content of your planned research. If it adds nothing to your case, then it's probably not worth it.

A stronger factor would be research and field experience outside of or in excess of what is required by your program. They serve as further evidence that you can not only hit the ground running but also be a contributing asset to the department you are applying to. Because I am currently the head of our lab, the professor consults with me before accepting new students to make sure they are a good fit and would work well in this environment, and what we look for is working knowledge of research procedures, capacity for working with others, problem solving abilities, and familiarity with academic settings. Academic excellence is a given so we basically skim it to look for any Bs or Cs, it's really about undergraduate/masters research and field experience. We also follow up on rec letters to get additional details.

How my university and my professor handles admissions is certainly not universal, and every university and department obviously have their own standards. So whether your minor will help or not certainly varies depending on the situation. If you know that doing your minor will help you in the area you intend to research, or you simply find that field of study interesting regardless, feel free to do your minor. If not, I would recommend investing that time in your studies or extracurricular activities.

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