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Office of the Provost, Division of Academic Affairs, University of Maryland

Leadership Areas


General Policies for Minor Programs

The following requirements for establishing academic minors were approved by the University Senate on February 9, 2004, and by the President on February 13, 2004.

Definition of Minors

  1. A minor may be offered by any unit that offers or has the authority to offer an MHEC- approved major or certificate. Minors do not, however, require MHEC approval.
  2. A minor may also be offered cooperatively by more than one unit or include courses from more than one unit.
  3. Minors should be structured to provide students with a coherent field of study and a carefully considered intellectual justification. That field may be a truncated version of a major or a distinctive intellectual subset of a discipline. A random choice of courses from current offerings in a major may not constitute a minor.
  4. There is no limit to the number of minors a unit may offer as long as resource availability is not an issue.
  5. Minors must be established through the PCC process. For example, if a department or program wishes to offer a minor, that unit must seek approval from the Chair or Director, the Dean of the College or the Dean for Undergraduate Studies when appropriate, the College or Undergraduate Studies PCC committee, and the Senate PCC committee. Proposals for new minors must indicate resource requirements and resource availability.
  6. Minors must be designed and overseen by faculty members. In situations where administrative staff provide essential support, a clearly described faculty oversight structure must be in place at proposal stage and continue for the duration of the minor.
  7. Students who wish to pursue a minor should inform both their college and the unit in charge of the minor in order to ensure appropriate advising. When the student completes the minor, the unit offering the minor shall notify the student's college, which shall verify that the student has met all requirements (grades, credits, etc.) and forward the student's name, minor, and date of completion to the Registrar's Office. The posting of a minor on a student's official transcript is done concurrently with the posting of the bachelor's degree.
  8. Minors will be posted on a student's academic transcript but not on the diploma. Minor designations on the transcript may carry a general discipline or field designation (e.g. minor in "Physics," "Geography," etc.) or a more specific designation (e.g. "English: African Diaspora"). 
  9. A minor should have no fewer than 15 and no more than 24 academic credits, with at least nine credits at the upper level. A unit may apply for an exception to these criteria. Such application may particularly apply in situations where there are "hidden prerequisites" and/or in situations in which students have taken the prerequisites to the minor as part of another degree program.
  10. A student may use a maximum of six credits (or two courses) to satisfy the requirements of both a major and a minor. A unit may place additional limits on the allowed overlap. Courses completed in one minor may not be used to satisfy the requirements in another minor. 
  11. The following must be clearly identified in the proposal: primary sponsoring unit with administrative responsibility for the minor, faculty coordinator of the minor, advising system for the minor, and title for the transcript. 
  12. No more than six of the required credits (or two courses) may be taken at an institution other than the University of Maryland, College Park. However, at least six upper division credits applied to the minor must be taken at this university.
  13. No course with an earned grade below "C-" may count towards a minor. 
  14. In some cases, departments requiring majors to have supporting courses may wish to allow students to substitute an appropriate minor for the supporting course requirement.

Relevant Policy

Use CIM to Propose a New Minor