I am studying mechanical engineering here at USC and I have a minor in Disruptive Innovation through the USC Iovine and Young Academy. It’s a super cool program I definitely recommend checking out the minor which can be found at (https://catalogue.usc.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=11&poid=11374). At USC a minor requires at least 16 units but most are between 20-24 units. My minor requires 24 units. A mechanical engineering degree requires 128 units to graduate. In total this is 152 units, and divided by the 8 semesters you have at USC that leaves 19 units per semester, which is over the 18 unit base tuition price. So how can you incorporate a minor into your course plan while not taking extra units every semester? There are a few ways you can do it.
- Some minors will have courses that overlap for credit. For example with my minor two of the courses also count as General Education Requirements. This enables me to take two classes that count for both my major and my minor. Note that 16 units need to be unique to your minor program.
- Taking Summer classes. You can take summer classes through USC or through another University and potentially transfer them in. Make sure you check with your academic advisor before you do this to ensure you take the right classes and that you get transfer credit approval!!!
- You can come in with credits as a freshman to USC through AP credit from High Schools classes, or potentially from dual enrollment courses you may have taken at a community college while in High School. Note that you will need to talk to your advisor to see if you qualify for any credits to transfer from high school.
I personally used a combination of all of these methods with my course plan. I took summer classes online during the summer of 2020 and 2021. I had AP credits and Dual enrollment credits, and I was able to have some of my minor units count towards my mechanical engineering degree.
Please remember I am in no means an expert on any of this, I am merely providing my personal experience incorporating a minor and everyone’s experience incorporating minors into their schedule will be different! The most important thing you can do is talk to your academic advisor; they will guide you through this entire process and work with you to find a course plan that best fits your academic goals at USC! It is most helpful to talk to your advisor early in your degree program about incorporating your desired minor into your schedule, so that you can plan ahead and make sure you are able to finish your minor. Incorporating a minor is totally doable and I have so many friends that minor at USC while studying Engineering! It is super fun and really takes advantage of the Engineering+ mindset we have at USC!