What is College major: Definition and 21 Discussions

An academic major is the academic discipline to which an undergraduate student formally commits. A student who successfully completes all courses required for the major qualifies for an undergraduate degree. The word major is also sometimes used administratively to refer to the academic discipline pursued by a graduate student or postgraduate student in a master's or doctoral program.
An academic major typically requires completion of a combination of prescribed and elective courses in the chosen discipline. The latitude a student has in choosing courses varies from program to program. An academic major is administered by select faculty in an academic department. A major administered by more than one academic department is called an interdisciplinary major. In some settings, students may be permitted to design their own major, subject to faculty approval.
In the US, students are usually not required to choose their major discipline when first enrolling as an undergraduate. In addition, most colleges and universities require that all students take a general core curriculum in the liberal arts. Normally students are required to commit by the end of their second academic year at latest, and some schools even disallow students from declaring a major until this time. A student who declares two academic majors is said to have a double major. A coordinate major is an ancillary major designed to complement the primary one. A coordinate major requires fewer course credits to complete. Many colleges also allow students to declare a minor field, a secondary discipline in which they also take a substantial number of classes, but not so many as would be necessary to complete a major.

View More On Wikipedia.org
  1. approximatelysphere

    Programs Help me decide: physics or chemistry?

    I’m a high school senior currently struggling to choose between chemistry and physics. I’m really interested in pursuing physics, but I am not sure if it will truly be for me. This year, I’m taking AP physics 2 and I have enjoyed it a lot more than AP Chemistry. I feel that physics is much more...
  2. G

    Programs What can I do with a Chemistry BS and a minor in Physics?

    Just to keep this from being a long post: I went to a local CSU for Materials Science and Engineering in the fall of 2018 after graduating high school in the spring of 2018. I really like learning about everything that makes up the world around me, and why things are the way they are, and in...
  3. J

    Programs Help on Majors and Graduate Degrees as an Engineering Student

    I am a high school graduate planning to enter the Gator Engineering Program at Santa Fe. In the program I'll be transferred from Santa Fe to the University of Florida after 2 years. I am very excited for the program but I am restricted by only being able to major in a select few majors. The...
  4. cellist542

    Programs What is the best major or double major for Nuclear Fusion research?

    I might be interested in researching nuclear fusion reactors after college. What majors or double majors would be best suited for this career path? Physics, nuclear engineering, materials science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, etc?
  5. Felipe Lincoln

    Physics Changing my college major to statistics -- Should I?

    I am current in the second year of college, doing physics but from the mid of the year I got hooked to data science and I decided I want to follow this career. What is the best thing I can do now? Finish my BSc and go for a MSc in statistics? Change my major to statistics? As I still like...
  6. Willow Wanda

    Schools Hey everybody - I need to pick a major for college applications

    Hello y'all! I'm a high school student and I'm looking for some advice:) I am very interested in physics, quantum mechanics in particular. I'm a bit of an overachiever, and I usually overthink everything. I come from a family of doctors, and although they don't pressure me into following in...
  7. C

    Engineering Should I study Computer Science or Physics in college?

    Hello, I am a high school senior in both IB physics and IB computer science. I have been accepted to college at UNC Chapel Hill next year, and I am trying to decide what to major in. I enjoy learning about physics a lot, but I also love computer science, and it seems like it has more job...
  8. TBert

    Job opportunities for CE and EE

    I am looking to major in Computer Engineering or Electrical Engineering and wanted to learn more about the majors. What I am most interested in is what job opportunities are available after college for each of the majors. From the research I have done it seems like EE (in Ohio) mostly do control...
  9. UMath1

    Engineering Electrical vs Mechanical Engineering: Jobs, Demand, Roles

    I am a high school senior debating between these two majors. In high school, I enjoyed both Mechanics and E&M very much so its really tough for me to decide which of the two engineering fields I'll like more. Whichever field I pick, I am also planning to minor or double in Physics and Computer...
  10. Delta31415

    Schools Help for College Major Decision: Quantum Mechanics, Engineering & Cosmology

    Thanks in advance! I am currently a junior in high school,and in a year i will be applying for college. Problem is I don't know what major to apply for.I wish to study Quantum Mechanics,however at the same time study engineering,so maybe Quantum Technology? I also am interested in cosmology and...
  11. P

    Schools How do I decide on a college major?

    I'm a college student who's interested in the following sciences: physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, and computer science. (In high school I did ok in all of them, but had no particular interest in any.) So, how could I decide which one to pursue? Also, I want to get a PhD and...
  12. A

    Schools Advice needed on College Major

    Hello, I am only a freshman in college and I'm taking calc 3, etc. In other words, before I know it I will be taking the "core" classes for the major I chose...Mechanical Engineering. I always had my mind set on ME for the sole reason that the physics aspect of cars was so interesting to...
  13. N

    What college major seems the worst to you?

    If you personally had to decide on the college major that you would probably be the most bored studying which one would it be?
  14. K

    Schools Question about college major and minor

    Im planning to attend Drexel University next year and was wondering if taking Physics as a major and Astrophysics as a minor was a good choice. Im very interested in learning about the Universe and astronomy with the application of mathematics and computer programming. I hope to specialize...
  15. B

    Schools Phyco-Babble, straight from my microsoft word college major, need help

    Phyco-Babble, straight from my microsoft word! college major, need halp! Hello, who ever was foolish enough to open this post! Just kidding, i just thought that i should say something to all of you, before you read this little short story-ish thing. I’m a senior in high school, 18 years old...
  16. I

    Is Computer Engineering a Good Major Choice for Job Opportunities?

    College "Major" Question Currently I am majoring in computer engineering, and I still don't have an idea of what areas a computer engineer would be useful. Everything I see in my classes seem to be geared for electrical or mechanical engineers and it looks like there are more job opportunity...
  17. I

    Schools What are the job opportunities for computer engineering majors?

    College "Major" Question I'm not sure if this would be the right place to ask this question since the other engineering sections seem to deal more with work problems. Currently I am majoring in computer engineering, and I still don't have an idea of what areas a computer engineer would be...
  18. X

    Schools VMI Major Selection: Advice for Future Air Force Pilot

    Hello everyone, this is my first time here on this forum and I was just wondering something for a very very long time. I was accepted into Virginia Military Institute and will be attending this fall '09. I intend to upon graduation, enter the U.S. Air Force and become a pilot. However...
  19. F

    Schools Should I Use My AP Physics Credits to Skip Introductory Classes in College?

    AP Physics and college major... Hi, I need to know something about college... Assume I score 5s on both the AP Physics B and C test, and in college I want to major in Physics and go on to grad school for some area in Physics. I plan to take Honors Physics BTW. Is it recommended that I use...
  20. L

    Schools Confusion of college major :cry:

    i am planing on my major at this moment, and i am so confussed now because i don't know what way i should take. here is some personal information about me I am pretty confident in math and i have just taken AP Calculus BC, Phy-B, Phy-C, Chem, Environmental science, Computer Science A, and...
  21. L

    Engineering Majors: Job Opportunities & What to Study

    Hi, everyone, I am now a high school senior student (a girl), and I plan to study in the field of engineering in the next four years. I understand that I do not have to choose a specific major in my freshman year, but I would like to learn more about this field from those who are acturally...