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The Best Minor for an Electrical Engineering Major

by Kristine Tucker, studioD

College students who major in electrical engineering might consider an academic minor to complement their Bachelor of Science degree and their overall educational accomplishments. A minor will help an electrical engineering student specialize in a particular field or have skills that transfer to similar professions. Even though electrical engineering students can choose a minor in almost any program of study, some options require only a few additional courses.

Go For Innovation

Choose a minor in entrepreneurship or business if you want to use your knowledge and skills to invent and create new equipment and technology to meet electrical needs. For example, Penn State offers minors such as Engineering Leadership Development, Engineering Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurship and Innovation for electrical engineering students who want to combine their technical skills with an understanding of national and international business demands. Penn State's entrepreneurship courses constitute 18-credit-hour minors that can be taken in conjunction with electrical engineering requirements. An entrepreneurship minor can help students who want to address global energy needs.

Two Plus Two Equals Success

Because most engineering disciplines, including electrical engineering, are heavily math-oriented, most students only need a few additional math courses to obtain a math minor. For example, Syracuse University requires students to complete 18 credit hours in the mathematics department to get a minor in math. Because Syracuse's electrical engineering major requires four mathematics courses, totaling 15 credit hours, students only need to pass one additional math course to qualify for a minor in math. This minor will help you if you plan to get a highly technical job in engineering.

Computer Geeks: Good Choice

Opt for a minor in computer science if you want to use your electrical engineering skills in a computer-oriented industry, such as designing software or expanding technological advancements. The University of Illinois offers a computer science minor for electrical engineering students that requires five courses at the freshman, sophomore and junior levels and one senior-level course. Students have three mandatory classes and can choose their three remaining courses from a list of upper-level computer science offerings.

Engineering Powerhouse

If you're not totally tired of taking engineering courses, choose a minor in another engineering field. For example, Penn State suggests that electrical engineering majors obtain a minor in environmental engineering, bioengineering, nanotechnology or energy engineering. Obtaining a major and a minor in engineering solidifies your reputation as a tried-and-true engineer. Students often qualify for entrance into engineering minor programs because they have completed level-one and level-two chemistry, physics and math courses. According to Penn, students must have at least fifth-semester standing and have a minimum 2.0 GPA to minor in an engineering field, such as environmental engineering. The environmental engineering minor consists of 18 credit hours and requires a minimum of six credit hours at the 400 level. Students must get a minimum of a C grade in all minor-required courses to qualify for the minor.

About the Author

As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.

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