Skip to main content

Some “Minor” Adjustments: Adding a minor

Tate takes us through adding a minor, as well as some of the interdisciplinary minors at Carleton.

Tate takes us through adding a minor, as well as some of the interdisciplinary minors at Carleton.


When I was applying to colleges, I wasn’t really considering getting a minor. My ideal path was double-majoring. I’d go with music and some other field. A minor didn’t really seem worth it to me. It felt like a lot of time and effort without much of a reward. Even once I got to Carleton, I didn’t consider any of our minors for a while. It was hard enough for me to choose my major! I declared my first major, Linguistics, at the end of my sophomore year. This is actually when everyone declares their major at Carleton. I then declared Music as my second major later that summer. My junior year started, and I now had two majors to juggle. I thought there was no way I’d add anything on top of that. 

Or so I thought!

During junior year, I was looking for interesting courses to take, and I stumbled across Logic. Now, I had initially dismissed it because it was in the philosophy department (and I am not a philosophy bro). But now, I saw it fulfilled a Linguistics elective, and it seemed pretty interesting! It dealt with the ways we reason and the complexities of natural language, among other things. And as I was exploring Logic’s other course properties, I saw it was a core requirement of Cognitive Science. This led me to the Cognitive Science website, where I discovered the minor.

Navigating the minor

I found I was already halfway to completing the Cognitive Science minor, through my past courses in linguistics and music. And if I took Logic, then I’d only have a few more courses to tackle during my senior year. This was really encouraging, because Cognitive Science deals with the intersection of music and language, something I’ve always wanted to explore. I ended up taking Logic and loving it. And I took another core Cognitive Science course this spring. It was called The Musical Mind, and it was an entire course dedicated to music’s role in the field. CogSci was something I hadn’t yet had the chance to explore formally, but seeing that I was so close to completing the minor drove me to take some classes.

Propositional Logic Proof from PHIL 210
This is the sort of stuff I did in Logic. Really challenging, but incredibly rewarding too!

Carleton’s minors

This is how a lot of our minors are structured. We offer 38 minors, and lots of them are interdisciplinary. This means you don’t have to dedicate lots of time to a single department. Carleton really encourages exploration of your interests. These interdisciplinary minors are used to make sure you have something to show for all your exploration! For example, you can explore the American Music minor through departments like Africana Studies, Sociology and Anthropology, Music, American Studies, and more. You can fulfill requirements for the Digital Arts and Humanities minor by taking courses in Cinema and Media Studies, Computer Science, Environmental Studies, Theater, History, Religion, and more. Additionally, if your major and minor are in related fields, minors are pretty easy to pick up. If you’re someone who’s got lots of interests, I’d highly encourage looking into our minor programs. They might be more attainable than you think!

Professor presents digital arts and humanities materials
The Digital Arts and Humanities minor is intentionally interdisciplinary!

Tate (he/him) is a senior hailing from Colfax, WI (just two hours east of Carleton). He is double majoring in Linguistics and Music and minoring in Cognitive Science. Outside of academics, he sings in Carleton Choir, Chamber Choir, and Exit 69 A Cappella, serves on the Experimental Theater Board, and DJs for KRLX. He also founded Off The Cuff, Carleton’s storytelling organization. When he’s not occupied by these activities, he enjoys hiking in the Arb, attending screenings in the Weitz cinema, and telling anyone who will listen about ridiculous linguistic example sentencesMeet the other Bloggers!