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Major vs Minor: what is the difference?

Date: 09.09.2022
As a future student or a parent you have probably come across the terms, major and minor, when learning about universities in the US, Canada, and beyond. Students often ask how this system works and what it means. Our Educate Online higher education specialists have the answer!
Quickly, a major is the main focus of your degree, while the minor is a secondary subject of interest.

Let’s take a deeper dive!
What is a Major?

As mentioned above, a major is the main focus of your degree. To be considered a major, students will need to take 10-12 classes within their chosen major. The major is typically selected during the second or third year of studies, however, the exact requirements are dependent on the university and/or program.

One of the great advantages of US and Canadian university systems is flexibility! Approximately, 20-50% of students wait until their second year to choose a major. Also, many majors offer specializations within the major. For example, a business major may include concentrations such as: accounting, marketing, finance, international business, and more. The courses you take will also depend on the concentration you choose.
You must have a major to graduate and receive your university degree. If you are extra keen, you may also choose to complete a double major. In a double major, you will complete the major requirements in two subjects within the same degree program. A double major is not the same as a double degree.

What is a Minor?

A minor is an optional concentration that allows you to explore a secondary area of interest. A minor often requires only 4 to 6 classes. A minor does not need to be related to your major. For example, you may select to do a major in psychology and a minor in art history. Although selecting a minor is not a requirement for graduation; a minor can open more opportunities for future studies and networking. It is quite manageable to add a minor to your university studies and course load.

The versatility to select majors and minors in university, allow students to delve deeper into the subjects and specializations of their interest. With a broad knowledge base, graduates are better able to represent themselves on their CV and in employer interviews. Why not add an internship as well!
Choosing a major and minor are two of the most important steps in making the most of your academic journey. So, if you have any doubts about choosing the right path or entering university abroad, book your free consultation with our specialists and get help.
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