cgundler

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This may seem silly, but what would be a useful minor for undergrad? I was thinking about marine biology, simply because it sounds interesting, but is there one that would be more useful in vet school than others?
 

BlacKAT33

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Do you mean, more useful to get accepted to vet school? Or, more useful academically so you are a little ahead in vet school?

Depending on this my answer would be different. To make it short, minors or w/e your major is won't necessarily help you in getting accepted. It just depends on how well you do with the prereqs. If the minor is something completely different (music) then it will show you are diverse but it doesn't mean you automatically make a better applicant. Just do what you want to do, what you find interesting.

If you're talking about a minor that could help you academically if you get into vet school, anything science related like animal science, biology, sub groups of bio. But unless you are a non science major, there is no reason to minor in these things because you will be taking them already with your current major. I've known some people who do microbio degree with a minor in genetics, sooooooo redic in my opinion. Most of the classes overlap already. But if you want to do philosophy, psych, language, econ...then a minor in bio or ansc will help you.
 

Willowhand

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I would suggest doing whatever you really enjoy. I did theatre! I had a wonderful time, developed some useful skills, showed that I am capable of succeeding in multiple demanding fields, and all of my interviewers seemed interested and enthusiastic about it. I think it's easier to stand out in a field you really love, so whatever that is might make a good minor to pursue.
 

BomberCanoe

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What BlacKat said. No one is quite sure whether admissions committees want you to appear focused (with relevant, science related degrees), or diverse (with less relevant, "fun" degrees). Personally, I got in with a major in zoology, and minor in genetics. I agree that often the minors and majors like this overlap. That is what makes them better, in my opinion. For my minor, I technically only had to take one extra class- I just had to make sure that my zoology elective courses also counted for my genetics minor.

I don't know about other people, but I'm not exactly sure how my GPA could handle an extra 15 hours. Yes, this is only one extra class a semester, but some of those semesters I was stretching myself pretty thin (try taking one more class while in biochem, microbio (and lab), genetics lab, and animal nutrition (a pure memorization course), while also working about 30 hours between 3 jobs). The related minor allowed me to take a few interesting courses (I ended up taking a course completely on evolution to fulfill a requirement, and took a molecular genetics course), as well as have a little extra something to put on my resume.

Are any of these really going to help once in vet school? Maybe not. We probably aren't going to talk about specific theories or mechanisms of evolution, and I can't be sure that we'll need to know exactly how differential gene expression happens. So unless you're in a non science degree, it probably won't do much for you academically. But if it means taking 1 extra course, and having a whole extra "degree" to add to your application, with minimal impact on your GPA, I say go for it.
 

SocialStigma

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Unless your degree isn't a science one then I don't think there are "useful" minors, just pick something you're interested in. I'm in a science program with a psych minor and I like it because after learning about the neuroscience of how the brain works, I get to learn about the behaviour and it helps me connect the two.
 
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This may seem silly, but what would be a useful minor for undergrad? I was thinking about marine biology, simply because it sounds interesting, but is there one that would be more useful in vet school than others?
If you wanted to specialize in aquatic animal medicine, marine bio would be an excellent minor, and I would argue that it would actually help you quite a bit if you were to explain that in an interview.

However, if you don't know what you want to specialize in yet, then I'd say a minor is just a place to pick up some fun classes. One thing I would caution against is having a redundant-sounding minor (like BlackKAT's example of microbio major genetics minor). It certainly won't hurt you, but it is also unlikely to help you, because adcoms will know that you only took 1 extra class to get that that minor and will likely be unimpressed. Given a choice between someone who took a science major/related science minor course and someone who took a science major/full, independent minor course, I would think that an adcom would likely choose the latter, as it represents more effort and a greater diversity of education.
 

sumstorm

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Unless your degree isn't a science one then I don't think there are "useful" minors, just pick something you're interested in. I'm in a science program with a psych minor and I like it because after learning about the neuroscience of how the brain works, I get to learn about the behaviour and it helps me connect the two.
might consider public health (if it is available) if you have interests there. Business is another one that may give you useful knowledge for a vet career (even if you plan on working govt, NGO, Nonprof, etc.)
 
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I got in with a biomed major and microbio minor. My minor has proved to be invaluable because its what helped me land my current job which is what ended up impressing the ad comm and tipping the scale in my direction.

Just something else to think about in case you don't get in your first try. A lot of medical research companies want to see a concentration on your resume so 'doubling' up with a related minor can really help. That happened to be my back up plan so it might help to think about what your back up plan is when choosing minor concentrations.
 

cuitlamiztli

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But unless you are a non science major, there is no reason to minor in these things because you will be taking them already with your current major. I've known some people who do microbio degree with a minor in genetics, sooooooo redic in my opinion. Most of the classes overlap already.
Overlap will depend on the curriculum of each program... requirements can vary widely. People also often do this because they want more exposure to (using your example) genetics without having to double major. Or maybe they just took enough 'extra' classes because they were interested in them and realized that they could get a minor out of it.

The latter would be me.

I majored in zoology and minored in animal ecology; both were in completely different departments and had very few biology courses in common. Also, courses in the animal ecology program touched on topics relevant to some of my interests that the zoology program did not - things like conservation, wildlife issues, wildlife disease, etc. I would have taken the classes anyway even if I had been unable to get the minor.

OP, if you do want to minor, just pick something that you're interested in - if that happens to be a science, go for it (just make sure your school lets you; some won't if the programs are too similar), if not, go for that non-science interest.
 

VeganSoprano

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I would think of a minor as a chance to explore another area of interest. Undergrad is pretty much the only chance you'll get to take a class just because it sounds cool, so take advantage of it!

You may find that completing vet school prereqs puts you very close to completing a minor in another program, so you may decide it's worth, say, taking one extra chem class so you end up with a minor in chemistry. But I don't think it matters for admissions purposes. Do it only if you want to.
 

nyanko

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I don't really think having a "minor" helps as much as just having taken the classes does.
 
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I agree that a "minor" does not necessarily help in the long run. One of my interviewers commented on the shere number of humanities/social science courses I have taken in college -- many of which I took just because they interested me or I thought would be helpful. (I'm a biology major who has tackled plenty of upperlevel science courses as well.) At the time of application, I did not put down a minor because in truth I had not decided yet -- could have easily minored in three different things (school will only allow double major or 1 major and 1 minor). So...it's good to show breadth and depth in your courseload regardless of a declared minor.
 

BlacKAT33

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I agree that a "minor" does not necessarily help in the long run. One of my interviewers commented on the shere number of humanities/social science courses I have taken in college -- many of which I took just because they interested me or I thought would be helpful. (I'm a biology major who has tackled plenty of upperlevel science courses as well.) At the time of application, I did not put down a minor because in truth I had not decided yet -- could have easily minored in three different things (school will only allow double major or 1 major and 1 minor). So...it's good to show breadth and depth in your courseload regardless of a declared minor.
This is true. Don't think that if you take random classes instead of minoring that they wont see it. They dissect every transcript for each student and will see if you took extra upper level sciences, dance, business, etc. I was a bio major and i took animal science classes too, this came up in my interview. I also took a business course (just curious in case i want to own my own practice), and a personal finance course (very helpful). They did notice these other classes even though none of them showed up as a minor.
 

Nephromaniac

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I agree with what most have said here. Only thing I would emphasize is (not implying you would do this, just my input) that I definitely wouldn't take a minor in something you're not interested in, or may not put full effort into, just to have the "minor". I know it's always harder for me to dedicate my time to something I don't enjoy, & taking a potential hit to your GPA because of that would not be worth it imo. But good luck with everything!
 

lalzi22

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I minored in anthropology. It will never help me in vet med. Ever. But I LOVED every class I took and had a 4.0 in my minor GPA. I loved it so I did great in the classes, which ended up helping my cGPA. I would def. minor only in classes that interest you.
 

canis13

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it's not the official "minor" that counts, it's what other classes you take outside of your major that may be of interest, particularly the "breadth and depth" as someone said above. they read your transcript either way.

i go to a school that doesn't have minors, and i'm not concerned about it at all.
 

purplesaurus

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I minored in anthropology. It will never help me in vet med. Ever. But I LOVED every class I took and had a 4.0 in my minor GPA. I loved it so I did great in the classes, which ended up helping my cGPA. I would def. minor only in classes that interest you.
This. I say, use a minor this way, as an excuse to take classes in your non-vet/biology interests.

It may have been this thread (or another, too lazy to go back and read), but I agree that while you are an undergraduate, this is one of the best times to take random classes that just sound like fun. It gets a lot harder once you start specializing (though, it's not impossible!). I used my time while getting my first bachelor's (psychology) to take a ton of film classes, and it was great! Of course, due to some theatre professor snobbery, they wouldn't allow any sort of film major, minor, or even certificate (I definitely could have gotten a certificate, at the least). :mad:

eta: I just checked, and it looks like my film prof was finally successful at getting some degrees in film offered. Too late for me!
 
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VeganSoprano

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I minored in anthropology. It will never help me in vet med. Ever. But I LOVED every class I took and had a 4.0 in my minor GPA. I loved it so I did great in the classes, which ended up helping my cGPA. I would def. minor only in classes that interest you.
I don't know about that. If you plan to work in any area that requires interaction with clients, the cultural perspectives you probably gained as an anthro minor are likely to be quite useful. You minored in humans and you will end up working with them as clients and/or coworkers, so why wouldn't it be useful?
 

StartingoverVet

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I agree that while you are an undergraduate, this is one of the best times to take random classes that just sound like fun. It gets a lot harder once you start specializing :mad:
I couldn't agree more. Although I had a completely different track, I went to Wharton undergrad and used every free credit on taking as many biz classes as I could to get a good job and be prepared upon graduation.

In the years that followed, I consistently regretted missing out on the opportunity to study in some areas that I had a strong interest in. A lot of those classes that I did take left no meaningful impact on me professionally or personally.
 

168135

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I don't know how it works at your universities, but at mine, a minor is only 12 credit hours, so it's not a big deal. Also, at my university, if you are a science student, you are only allowed to minor in the sciences (psychology, chemistry, or biology... we don't have enough physics or geology courses for those to count for a minor). I already have a psych minor (all I took was intro psych and developmental psych!) and will have a chemistry minor when I finish.

At my university, you also have the option of doing a double major. I thought that you were limited to doing only the sciences, but a friend of mine says he's going to do a double major in history and biology, which makes you look more diverse IMO.