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Benefits of having a minor?

  1. Apr 4, 2008 #1
    I was wondering what the general purpose of having a minor would be. I can understand having a minor in a certain language can be good for various job prospects but what about a minor in the sciences?

    At my institute, in order to get a minor in mathematics, the courses we need are:
    - First-year calculus: Calc I and Calc II
    - Linear algebra (Probably very basic: "An introduction to vectors, matrices, systems of linear equations and three-dimensional geometry")
    - 9 credit hours from 2nd or 3rd year math courses (3 credit course = 1 semester class)

    which, to me, does not seem very rigorous at all.

    I'm interested in keeping up with my mathematics but plan on pursuing a degree in pharmacy. Should I pursue a minor in mathematics seeing how I'm going to enroll in various math courses during the summer and on the side while doing my degree? Pharmacy only requires Calc I and I'm willing to go the distance to learn more.

    Also, are there any particular "core" courses that I absolutely must have under my belt that any undergraduate mathematician would have?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 4, 2008 #2
    If you're going into pharmacy, it's nice to have a math background, but really Calculus I is all you really need. If I were you, I would minor in something that would be highly beneficial in the work place, such as biology or biochemistry.
  4. Apr 4, 2008 #3
    Also, are there any particular "core" courses that I absolutely must have under my belt that any undergraduate mathematician would have?[/QUOTE]

    -Real analysis, modern (abstract) algebra, modern geometry
  5. Apr 4, 2008 #4
    I wonder if a minor in Commerce is of any use for science/engineering students?
  6. Apr 5, 2008 #5
    Thanks for the comments so far. I suppose a minor in something related to what I do would be beneficial for my job prospects although would it really help me that much? I mean, looking at the requirements for getting a math minor, it does not seem like much. I could probably attain it without courses beyond Calc III.

    Perhaps I'll get a minors in both mathematics and chemistry?
  7. Apr 5, 2008 #6
    One thing to keep in mind is that these courses teach you something beyond just math, and you're probably at a point in your life where you can afford to "dabble".

    You'll get a lot of problem solving experience as well as discipline from something a hard-core analysis course, and something like differential geometry/topology can be quite fun.

    Five years down the line you'll come up against something really challenging and you'll think back to the time when you pulled an all-nighter to prove the Gauss-Bonnet theorem on an assignment... you might find that you have more confidence in yourself for having done those courses.
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