Bio Major + Photo Minor?

Question: Can I major in Biology and have a minor in photography?

In most cases, absolutely yes. But you would have to check with each college on your list to make sure that a minor in photography is offered. The majority of colleges have a biology major, so that shouldn't be the issue. But college policies can vary when it comes to minors. Some schools won't offer a minor in photography at all or may expect you to take photography as part of a broader studio art minor. So just check college Web sites or email an admission official if you're not sure of the rules at the colleges that you're considering. Note that just because a college offers a major in a particular field doesn't mean that there is a minor as well ... or vice versa. However, some colleges may let you create your own minor or major when there are enough related classes available.

If you can't locate the information you need on a college's, rest assured that emailing an admission officer isn't bothersome and can actually be a plus because it demonstrates interest in the college which can work in your favor when your application is reviewed. So look on college Web sites to see if you can find the name and contact info for your “regional rep." This is the admissions officer who oversees applicants from your high school. On many college Web sites, you can enter your school name, city, or zip code to find your rep. If not, just call the main admissions phone number to inquire. Never ask frivolous questions just for the sake of showing interest (that IS bothersome!), and this includes questions that are clearly answered on the Web site. But if you really can't tell from the site if you can minor in photography, then it's fine to write.

Finally, keep in mind that, while students often chose a major and a minor (or two majors) that have no connection to one another, with your particular interests perhaps you can create a niche for yourself taking pictures of flowers, trees, animals, body parts ... i.e., subject matter connected to biology. Graduating from college with a specific area of "expertise" is always a plus at job-hunt time!