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Encyclopedia > Academic major

An academic major, major concentration, concentration, or simply major is a mainly a U.S. and Canadian term for a college or university student's main field of specialization during his or her undergraduate studies. The university department offering the major defines a framework for the student's studies, including a certain number of required courses and a certain number of freely chosen courses relevant to the major. Some majors in some universities effectively define the student's full course of study; many others allow students considerable latitude both within their field and in their other courses. The university also generally defines general education or core education and distribution requirements. Motto: (Out Of Many, One) (traditional) In God We Trust (1956 to date) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington D.C. Largest city New York City None at federal level (English de facto) Government Federal constitutional republic  - President George Walker Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence from... College (Latin collegium) is a term most often used today to denote an educational institution. ... For the community in Florida, see University, Florida. ... For other uses, see Student (disambiguation). ... In some educational systems, undergraduate education is post-secondary education up to the level of a Bachelors degree. ... This article is about the unit of teaching. ... The Core Curriculum was originally developed as the main curriculum used by Columbia Universitys Columbia College. ...

Although many students choose their major before entering a college or university, many others select it during their first or second year of a four-year program. Some schools do not allow students to officially declare their major until the end of their second year so that students can experience many fields and ensure they have chosen the one most appropriate for them.

In many other countries, including South Africa and the United Kingdom, undergraduate students are normally required to concentrate on one subject throughout their degree, so the concept of a "major" is not relevant. Instead, the choice of degree and subject determines the entire course of study. However, some UK universities require that students study the first year course material from three degree schemes. In Australia, the U.S. system is followed to some extent, but there are also more specialist undergraduate degrees than in the U.S.



The system of majors or concentrations was introduced by President A. Lawrence Lowell of Harvard in 1910 and adopted by most U.S. universities.[1] Abbott Lawrence Lowell (January 1, 1856–January 6, 1943), an educator, historian and Boston Brahmin, was the President of Harvard University from 1909 to 1933. ... Harvard University (incorporated as The President and Fellows of Harvard College) is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA and a member of the Ivy League. ...


  1. ^ Charles McGrath, "What Every Student Should Know", New York Times Education Life, January 8, 2006. [1]

External Links

  • College Majors Described at The Princeton Review

See also

  Results from FactBites:
Albion College Catalog 2002-2003 > Academic Programs > Major Requirement (448 words)
Majors are possible in three separate areas¾the departmental major, the interdepartmental major and the individually designed major.
Requirements for departmental majors are revised periodically, and full details appear in each departmental description in the “Departments and Courses” section of this catalog.
The requirements for an individual major include a minimum of six units of course work, plus one unit of directed study which demonstrates ability to perform independent scholarship or creative activity related to the proposed major program.
UCR CHASS Student Academic Affairs (1441 words)
Major requirements are established and revised, subject to approval of the Executive Committee and faculty, by the respective departmental faculties or curriculum committees.
If the major department decides that the student is not complying with the minimal progress standard, the student may be discontinued from the major until there is evidence of adequate progress in major courses.
A declaration of two majors in different colleges must be approved by the Associate Deans of the colleges concerned and filed by the student with the college of the primary major.
  More results at FactBites »



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