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College of Engineering and Computing

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Undergraduate Minors

An undergraduate minor indicates expertise in a discipline either related to or different from your major. Undergraduate students can choose from over 90 minors offered by USC, including eight below offered by the College of Engineering and Computing.

Who should minor in engineering or computing?

A minor is generally an optional degree component. A minor allows you to specialize in an area related to your major, broaden your education and enhance your degree, or study something completely different if you have multiple interests. A minor shows employers and graduate schools that you are hardworking and can handle an additional workload. On top of that, an engineering or computing minor is a bonus form of experience for entering certain job markets.

Declaring a minor will require you to complete around six classes in the minor field of study. These courses may be in addition to your major program of study or may overlap with some of your normal program requirements. Before adding a minor, determine if the minor will extend your time to graduation, and if so, if the valued added is worth it; it often is. If you think a minor might be right for you, talk with your advisor.

Engineering and Computing Minors

The Aerospace Engineering Minor is designed for students who want to enhance the breadth of a mechanical engineering or related program of study with depth in the field of aerospace engineering. Students who complete this minor develop engineering analysis and design skills necessary for creating and understanding aerospace vehicles and their subsystems.

The Aerospace Engineering Minor includes topics in:

  • aerospace structures
  • aerodynamics
  • mechanics of aerospace materials
  • elective courses covering a variety of aerospace-related subjects

Keep in mind, many of the courses in this minor have mechanical engineering course prerequisites.

Association: Department of Mechanical Engineering

All disciplines can benefit from computing technology. The Applied Computing Minor prepares students to use modern computing applications and technology to solve interdisciplinary problems. You’ll learn about the computing solutions needed to be more effective in your major area of interest, from the management of electronic medical records for nurses to the ability to create attractive websites and blogs for journalists and creative writers.

The Applied Computing Minor includes foundational applied computing courses and intermediate/advanced electives. Electives in this minor can be tailored to your interests. Areas of study include:

  • animation
  • databases
  • game design
  • geographic information systems
  • geographic data visualization
  • information infrastructure
  • information science
  • networking
  • project management
  • web development

 Focus areas can be completed with no prerequisites outside of courses included in the minor.

Association: Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Chemical engineers apply the principles of chemistry, biology, physics and math to solve problems that involve the production or use of chemicals, fuel, drugs, food and many other products. If you are majoring in engineering, chemistry, biochemistry or related fields, and you are interested in the chemical process industry, then the Chemical Engineering Minor may be right for you. This plan of study provides you with an introduction to Chemical Engineering fundamentals, as well as the chance to take elective courses in areas such as energy, materials, polymers, electrochemical engineering, and mathematical modeling.

Students obtaining a Minor in Chemical Engineering complete a set of chemical engineering classes and electives including:

  • material and energy balances
  • thermodynamics
  • fluid mechanics
  • separations
  • electives in chemical engineering

Students who have completed two semesters of Chemistry, four semesters of Calculus, one semester of Physics, and an introductory course in thermodynamics are qualified to declare this minor.

Association: Department of Chemical Engineering

Computing skills are integral in today’s society, and a solid background in programming is valued in many careers. A minor in Computer Science will give you an understanding of computer programming and help make you a competent software developer. You will be able to write small programs, web pages, spreadsheet macros, and understand the internet at a deeper level.

The Computer Science Minor includes foundational computer programming courses and intermediate/advanced computer science courses. Elective topics include:

  • artificial intelligence
  • computer games
  • databases
  • decision support systems
  • hardware
  • networks
  • programming languages
  • service-oriented computing
  • scientific computing
  • systems programming
  • theory of computation.

Keep in mind, calculus is a prerequisite for some courses.

Association: Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Cybersecurity operations is the practice of ensuring confidentiality, integrity and availability of information, and the protection of computer systems. The Cybersecurity Operations Minor prepares non-computing majors to implement sound practices for computer security and data protection. You’ll learn how to apply practical computer security strategies in the workplace and everyday life.

The Cybersecurity Operations Minor includes foundational computing coursework and intermediate/advanced courses in the areas such as:

  • Computer hardware and software
  • Cybersecurity operations
  • Introduction to networking
  • Advanced networking
  • Information technology security for managers

Prior coursework in computing or information technology is not prerequisite to this minor.

Association: Department of Integrated Information Technology

The Data Science Minor is designed for students in any discipline that uses large data sets, including science, engineering, business, mathematics and the social sciences. The minor blends computer science and statistics to provide you with a practical knowledge of data analysis and helping you think critically about the construction and implications of big data and how to use data effectively in decision-making.

The Data Science Minor includes:

  • big data analytics
  • data visualization
  • statistical methods
  • data mining
  • other data science topics

Calculus is a prerequisite for some courses. This minor is jointly administered by the Department of Statistics and the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. 

Association: Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Electronics are at the core of everything we call “technology.” Electrification, miniaturization and digitization drives a broader demand for understanding of how analog and digital electrical and electronic systems can be applied in every area of science, technology and public interest. The minor in Electrical Engineering is perfect for those students in other technical disciplines that often depend on electronics. For example, mechanical engineers focused on transportation or robotics, biomedical engineers who depend on electronic sensors, actuators or instrumentation and computer engineers who wish to know more about the underlying digital systems, or physicists who depend on sophisticated electronic particle detectors.

The Electrical Engineering Minor includes core courses covering electrical science, circuits, signals and systems. The core classes form a basic competency for understanding electric systems, and the electives deliver a deeper understanding of modern applications within one of the following subdisciplines:

  • power electronics
  • power systems
  • renewable energy sources
  • wireless and digital communications
  • electronic materials
  • microelectronics
  • sensors
  • automated decision and control

Keep in mind, calculus through differential equations is required to complete the core courses.

Association: Department of Electrical Engineering

The Environmental and Sustainable Engineering Minor is designed to broaden the academic background of all undergraduate students seeking a career in sustainable environmental fields and to provide fundamentals required to pursue graduate studies in environmental engineering.

The Environmental and Sustainable Engineering Minor includes topics in:

  • environmental engineering
  • life cycle assessment of engineered systems
  • elective courses in sustainability and environmental engineering

Students who have completed one semester of Chemistry and two semesters of Calculus are qualified to declare this minor.

Association: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Open to all undergraduate majors, the Integrated Information Technology Minor enhances any degree program by acquiring hands-on experience in computer applications and technology. This program focuses on application of technologies rather than theoretical computing knowledge.

The Integrated Information Technology Minor includes core courses emphasizing computer hardware and software support and computer applications in business. It also includes information technology electives in the following areas:

  • web-based support
  • database systems
  • human computing interaction
  • networking
  • information technology security management

This self-contained minor can be completed with no prerequisites outside of courses included in the minor.

Association: Department of Integrated Information Technology

If you are majoring in engineering, physics or a closely related field, and you are interested in the nuclear industry, then the Nuclear Engineering Minor may be right for you. This minor provides you with an introduction to nuclear engineering and develops advanced knowledge of nuclear fuel cycles, radiation shielding and sources, and nuclear reactor systems. It prepares graduates to apply fundamental concepts to nuclear engineering design in a broad variety of nuclear applications.

To obtain the Nuclear Engineering Minor, students must complete core nuclear engineering classes and electives covering:

  • radioactivity and nuclear reactions
  • steady state and transient nuclear reactor theory
  • processing of disposal of nuclear fuel
  • reactor designs

Students who have finished one semester of physics, one semester of chemistry, three semesters of calculus, and differential equations are qualified to declare this minor.

Association: Department of Mechanical Engineering

Minor Requirements

For specific requirements for these and all other undergraduate minors at the University of South Carolina, visit the academic bulletin.

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