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With my current major (Medical Lab Science) I am not required to declare a minor at my university. However, the program's supervisor informed me that through taking all of the required courses to complete the program, I will only be one credit in chemistry away from being able to declare a chemistry minor.

Is it worth it? Is there any real positive prospect in declaring a minor if it's not necessary, given my major?

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Why not? What's the disadvantage? An afternoon of paperwork? One extra class you have to take?

Compare that to the advantages: Let's say you are looking for work, can't find any in your chosen field (medicine), and so begin looking to work in a chem lab. Being a "medical lab science" major doesn't necessarily mean you know how to do a lot of chemistry, it may just mean you know things about handling biohazards like blood carefully. A hiring manager who doesn't know your school or that program doesn't know how much or little chem is required for such a major. You can't prove you know any chem unless they ask for a transcript or you have relevant work experience. But having "Minor in Chemistry" on your résumé would show that. So you could potentially land a low-level chem lab job easier that way.

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  • Very true. I suppose the only disadvantage would be the cost and time/effort. But as you said having the chem minor would be more beneficial despite the disadvantges. – Nicole Rae Jan 29 '14 at 17:38
  • I highly disagree with wugology's sentiment. Have you hired people at low level chem labs or are just assuming this is how having vs. not having the minor would be interpreted. If you are qualified for a chem position it will be easy to make your resume show this regardless of the minor. The fact that it will force you to highlight specific skills, projects and classes will make your resume look even stronger than someone who just put chem minor down without doing a good job describing the skills they attained from said minor. I have hired people before and I ignore minors. – WetlabStudent Jan 29 '14 at 21:26
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Go for the minor if that one extra class is a class you think you will enjoy taking or are interested in. If there is a different class or academic extra curricular activity (research, internship, etc.) that you'd rather do, you should do that instead.

Double majors and minors are usually not that meaningful to employers and graduate schools as most people think, unless they are in a very unrelated field. You can always make your resume highlight the classes you took in the field most applicable for their job. Very few companies or graduate schools will care that you have a minor, especially in a field as related to medical science as chemistry. Even if taking this chemistry class prevents you from taking a different chemistry class you'd prefer to take, take the more interesting one, and then highlight the things you learned on resumes and interviews. If you'd take the class required for you minor (after reading the course description) even if this minor wasn't offered, definitely do it. However, I suppose you wouldn't have asked the question if this is true.

Personally, I really regret taking the one extra class I did to complete my minor. It blocked me from taking a really interesting project based class in the same field. People came out of that project class with great experiences an exciting line on their resume like "built ...." or "Developed a new theory of ..."

As for when to declare the minor, I really see no advantage or disadvantage for doing it later vs. now. You might as well declare it now, so you don't forget, I guess. Usually no university privileges (like priority registration) are associated with having a declared minor.

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