The Importance of Taking Non-Major Classes in College

Every student knows the importance of doing their very best in their major classes. But what about classes outside of the major? Not only do non-major classes contribute to a well-rounded education, they also foster creativity and encourage students to meet new people while exploring new subjects!

The first two years of college are typically dedicated to completing general education requirements. Most of these classes are outside of your major, and include subjects like science, math, history, writing, arts, and foreign language, to name a few. General education classes are required for graduation, and in some ways, can serve as a good foundation for success in your major classes later on. They also give people a solid idea of what subjects they are interested in, so they can further pursue other courses in that subject throughout their college years. Numerous students even elect to complete a minor in addition to their major after discovering another subject they really love.

Some may feel that taking classes outside of their majors is a waste of time, but it’s actually quite the opposite. Here are some key reasons why you should consider taking and enjoying classes outside of your concentration!

Personal Growth

Taking classes outside of your major forces you to get out of your comfort zone, learn new things, and ultimately, find out more about yourself as an individual! You never know – you might discover a hidden interest you never knew you had. That’s the beauty of keeping an open mind and studying various subjects in college. For example, you may have known all along that you want to major in biology because you’ve always loved science in high school. But in college, you may learn from taking a political science class that you actually also have a passion for learning about your values and defending them.

Getting out of your comfort zone comes with a plethora of rewards. You’ll gain a better understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as your likes and dislikes. Moreover, employers these days are attracted to students that demonstrate they enjoy challenges and are well-rounded. Being educated in subjects beyond just those within your major is a great way to show that!

Well-Rounded Education

Exercise your brain with a variety of classes, both within and outside of your major. This way, you’ll get a solid background in all areas of study, and avoid getting burnt out. For example, majoring in biology and having to take a ton of science classes at once can be overwhelming and may even get boring. Spice things up by throwing in a writing or liberal arts class each quarter, and you’ll thank yourself later! The diversity of classes enhances critical thinking and the development of other essential life skills.

The options are endless when it comes to deciding on what non-major classes to take. If you’ve always dreamt of learning a new language, now is your chance to do so! Many employers love bilingual candidates. Do you have an affinity towards theatre and movie production? A lot of colleges offer some form of theatrical studies that you can consider. An English or philosophy class would be worthwhile if you’re keen on improving your writing skills. For many, photography is a fun, stress-relieving, and creativity-boosting class. These are just some of the many different options you can choose from! Even just taking one-quarter of a non-major class can be refreshing and increase your abilities and knowledge in a given subject.

Social Benefits

If one of your goals in college is to meet plenty of new people, then you’ll definitely achieve that by taking classes outside of your major! You will also be exposed to new ideas and ways of thinking, which can broaden your conversations with others. No two people are going to approach a situation or question the same way, and exposure to these differences can help you open your mind and understand where others are coming from, and why they do the things they do.

Finally, taking a class outside of your concentration allows you to meet the faculty of different departments. When it comes to needing recommendation letters, it’s always best to get different people to write for you; future employers and graduate schools would love to see that you made connections outside of your major that think highly of you. Above all, you never know what you’ll learn from these connections if you are willing to make the effort to reach out, get to know them, and seek out their guidance!


Remember that college is not just a time to plow through your major classes. It’s also a time of self-discovery, learning about the world, and embracing opportunities! So don’t forget to take your time and enjoy the ride. Explore a subject that you’ve been curious about. Take a class “just because.” Those who are open to learning something new will often find that they actually benefit from immersing themselves in non-major classes. The newly acquired knowledge and perspectives in various fields will come in handy in life beyond college graduation.