Undergraduate Degree Definitions & Credit Overlap Policies

Approved by the University Council October 15, 2014; effective October 15, 2014

Major: Coherent primary program within an academic discipline or interdisciplinary subject area, generally comprised of at least nine 4-credit courses. Individual schools and colleges establish the upper limit of courses required for a particular major. The major appears on both the diploma and the transcript.

Minor: Focused area of study not necessarily related to the major and may be completed in another school or college. Minors are generally comprised of five to seven 4-credit courses. Twelve credits must be unique to the minor and may not count toward the fulfillment of majors or additional minors. The minor appears only on the transcript.

Concentration: Focus within or complementary to an approved major field of study. Students may have more than one concentration. The concentration does not appear on the diploma; it appears only on the transcript. A concentration differs from a specialization in that it can reside within one or across several major fields of study. The term subconcentration will no longer be used.

Specialization: A formally recognized group of interrelated courses within a major field. A specialization differs from a concentration in that it is embedded within one specific major, providing students with a more in-depth exploration of a focused topic than can be covered in a few individually selected courses. The specialization appears as part of the major field and so is reflected on the diploma and transcript. 

Track: A variation of degree requirements pertaining to an academic pathway, e.g., licensure tracks within the School of Education. This is used heavily in Degree Advice but is not represented on either the transcript or diploma.

Joint Major: A joint major is an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary curriculum offered by two departments. These departments may be in the same academic unit or across schools and colleges.