Minors and Certificates

Round out your education with a minor or certificate

Selecting a major is only one stop on your journey to a degree from NIU. You will still need to select classes beyond your major and general education requirements in order to meet the 120 credit hours required for graduation.

With general education utilizing 33 hours, major 35+ hours, a B.A. is 12 hours or B.S. is 14 hours. If you look closely, you still have close to 40 hours unaccounted. Take this opportunity to leverage your interests in order to expand your skillset.


  • Second major
  • Two minors
  • A minor and a certificate
Pie chart: general education is 33 hours, major is 35 or more hours, BA is 12 hours or BS is 14 hours, the rest of the pie (40 hours) is blank.

Minors and Certificates - Defined

  • A minor is a limited course of study in a designated subject area at the undergraduate level. Think of it as a mini-major.
  • A certificate provides substantial education in a specific academic discipline, requiring fewer hours than a minor. Certificates are a great way to further your education in an existing field or to explore a new one.

Minors and certificates are not restricted to students pursuing studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. You can pursue minors and certificates in other colleges.