Minors to Consider for Computer Science

Computer Science students are strongly encouraged to complete a minor. Completing a minor will aid in developing secondary skills or knowledge that will be beneficial in achieving career goals. There are many excellent choices for a minor from which to select. Computer Science students should work with their academic advisor in choosing the best minor for their specific career goals. Although Computer Science students are not limited to the following, these are some of the possible minors that should be considered. 

History, Philosophy, or Religious Studies: Having a background in the liberal arts empowers computer scientists and prepares them to deal with complexity, diversity, and change. It enables one to see beyond one’s own perspective and encourages one to understand other perspectives even if they don’t agree. In short, knowledge and experience with these liberal arts disciplines creates a depth and versatility that will likely contribute to success in a highly competitive and changing job market.  

Biology: Knowledge of the concepts and research tools that biologists use to understand the world will help in solving real-world problems when applying computational thinking methodologies. As an example, the fields of bioinformatics and nanotechnology have been an active area of computer science research and development for decades. A Biology minor is also helpful for computer scientists seeking to focus on the continued development of artificial intelligence, which is often based on neural networks.

Business: Training in business can be invaluable for those who seek computer science careers in the private sector. Information technology project teams often include individuals from marketing, accounting, sales, and general management, in addition to those with the necessary technical knowledge. Computer scientists can often guide non-technical employees in ways that meet the needs of their business units while keeping new applications cost-effective for the organization. A Business minor is also helpful for advancing into higher-level administrative or management positions.  

Creative Writing: The areas of animation and game design are typically the visual and/or interactive realization of a story. The craft of writing and revision coupled with the creation of imaginative literary work is an important aspect in creating animations and games.

Communication Arts: Strong communication skills are needed in most computer science positions. In addition, communications study and understanding can be invaluable in explaining to marketers and management what technology can and cannot do for them, and the outcome they seek through new computer technology projects.

Criminal Justice: A foundation in the formal process of social control through the criminal justice system, how behavior is defined as "criminal," how crime is measured, how society responds to crime, and the various rehabilitation approaches, is important for the computer scientist seeking to apply computational thinking strategies to problems in the field of Criminal Justice.

Graphic Design: Applying principles of visual organization to user interfaces, apps, and web platforms is an important component of software development. In addition, the ability to use tools for image creation and manipulation is an important skill for game developers.

Psychology: Psychology, particularly cognitive psychology, provides the user interface designer with knowledge and guidelines related to human memory limitations, attention, learning, decision-making, and perception. A Psychology minor is also helpful for computer scientists seeking to focus on the continued development of artificial intelligence, which leans heavily on cognitive psychology.

Visual Art: The craft of creating artwork is an important aspect of creating animations and games.