A few days ago

I don’t understand how college majors/minors/degree/spec… all works. Can you help me?

Okay, so I tried to read wikipedia’s definition of major and minors, bachelor degrees, double degree-ing, etc, so my questions are

-How many subject areas can one specialize in?

I have so many areas I want to learn more about and be qualified to know about such as: economics, anthropology, english, literature, journalism, international relations, politics, law, medicine–and at the same time take two languages: french and arabic.

-I read on wikipedia that one can double major instead of doing a major and a minor. Is it possible to major in medicine and politics and still have room to take all the other classes mentioned above?

-I don’t understand the difference between double majoring and double degreeing. Wiki said that double degreeing means two literal degrees while double majoring is of one degree. If i double degree and double major for each degree, do I come out with four degrees?!

im sorry if i seem annoying and stupid. im a little confused. too much wikipedia, i guess.

Top 4 Answers
A few days ago

Favorite Answer

Every college or university works differently. My advice to you is to contact the college or university that you want to attend. They usually put out a catlog of classes. Also, if you write to them and ask about a certain degree, they will send you a list of classes that you will have to take in order to get that degree.

4 years ago
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A few days ago
I have never heard the term “double degree.” But here is what info I can give you. No matter where you go you will need to take a set of required general education classes in assorted disciplines. These are usually referred to as “gen-eds.” The exact classes will differ from school to school, but there are generally compatible. You will need to take basic classes in areas such as biology, math, psychology, philosophy, fine arts, etc.

Your gen-eds will help you narrow down your area of specialized study (or major). Most schools also require or suggest you to have a minor. A major is an area that you specialize in and take upper division classes in (more difficult and advanced). There are a certain number of credits you need to meet and that is determined by the school. For a minor you don’t need to take as many credits. People can double major. It may take a little longer or you might have less flexibility in what classes you take, but it is possible. In this case you would earn two different bachelor’s degrees. I don’t know about double degreeing. I haven’t heard that before.

You really should narrow down your area of study after about your first year (if you haven’t done so already). You can not major in all of the areas you listed. If you did you would be in college forever. It’s virtually impossible. But some schools have programs that combine different areas. Also, so of the subjects you listed are closely related and you would be able to take a lot of classes you were interested within your major. For example if you majored in English, you would definitely take literature classes and possibly some journalism ones. My guess is that once you get rolling with your gen-eds you will find some classes that you don’t want to take anymore and others that you are more passionate about.

Also keep in mind that your undergraduate degree is just one degree. You can always go back later and get a master’s degree in another area that interests you.

What you really need to do is start college shopping. Do searches of schools that offer the programs you interested in. So when you start going there you will have the option of majoring in which ever one you’d like. You typically don’t need to declare your major until your 2nd or 3rd year. So don’t feel rushed your first year. Lots of people don’t know what they want to major in at that point.

Hope this helps


A few days ago
In a typical American college, the first two years your courses (called lower-division courses) are dedicated to general studies–in other words the basic knowledge that the faculty of the college thinks evey educated person should know. Different colleges can have wildly different ideas about what should be included in general studies.

In a school on the semester system like the one I attended, a major consists of twenty-four units of generally three-unit upper-division courses (which usually bear three-digit numbers starting with 3 and 4, standing for the third and fourth years of study) dedicated to what the schools consider to be unified disciplines.

Not all schools, of course, offer the same majors. And often schools will let students devise their own majors if they write up a serious document proposing what courses they want to include in their majors and the reasons they want to include them.

I myself majored in Spanish for my B.A. I didn’t like studying Spanish and Latin American literature, but the school I attended did not offer a linguistics major, which I would have found much more congenial.

Some majors, such as mathematics or the physical sciences, are harder than others, such as a social-science major consisting of a selection of courses in psychology, anthropology, and sociology.

Colleges can differ quite a lot in the way they approach education and the way they treat their students. Unfortunately, it can be very hard to find out what individual colleges are like unless you can contact students that have been at a given college for at least two years.

Now, with the Internet, it is easier to find this information on line. You could, of course, use Yahoo Answers to ask the following question: “I am considering going to Xxxxxxxxxxx College/University. What is student life really like on the campus? Are the professors generally assholes, or are they nice and really care for their students? I am considering majoring in xxxxxx at Xxxxxxxxxxx. Are the students enroled in this major generally happy with the courses they are required to take?”

It is very important to find this information out. If you enroll in a college/university that does not fit your interests or learning style, student life for you can be utter hell!

I hope this helps you out.

Harleigh Kyson Jr.

P.S. After getting my B.A. degree, I got a master’s degree in library science. If you want to find out what library school is really like, google the title of my article, “Library School Lunacy.”