Majors and Minors


Your major program is a central component of your academic experience. When you select a major, before or after arriving at BU, you are choosing the academic area you will study in depth and that will absorb much of your time and attention. Your major will appear on both your diploma and your transcript.

Some students choose a major because it seems to have a direct correlation to a career that interests them, but many students choose majors because of their interest in the material and their desire to learn the skills foregrounded in the major.

BU offers more than 100 majors. Some of them will be familiar to you, but there also should be many new areas for you to explore. Many students come into BU without having selected a major, and a large number of students change their major at least once after arrival. So give free rein to your curiosity, and don’t be hesitant to explore something new. Sometimes taking a Hub course in an unfamiliar area that looks interesting can be a strategic way to explore. Even if you decide not to pursue that field further, you will still have earned Hub units.

In terms of commitment, majors are comprised of at least nine 4-credit courses, though the upper limit of required coursework is determined by individual schools and colleges. In addition, some major courses may have prerequisite courses that must be completed first.

You must complete all requirements for your major in order to receive your degree. Many majors have a minimum grade that must be achieved in a course in order to count the course toward the major. For instance, in the College of Arts & Sciences, you must receive at least a C in order to count a course toward your major. Check the Bulletin for information about your major.

Typically, students are required to take both standardized introductory courses and individually selected upper-level electives in order to complete their major. In these majors, students can shape their pathway to suit their particular interests, abilities, and aspirations. Some majors, however, have a very strictly sequenced set of particular courses that need to be completed in order to demonstrate mastery in the field.


Pursuing a minor is optional. When you have an area of interest you would like to explore somewhat in depth but not to the extent of a major, a minor can be a helpful way to focus your studies and join an intellectual community.

Some students, however, will be better served by taking just a few courses in an area that interests them. When deciding whether or not to declare a minor, think about whether you want to take all of the requirements, or really only a few. You only have so much time, and everything is a trade-off, so you should also think about what you might have to give up in order to complete a minor. Make sure the trade-off is worth it to you.

A minor usually requires five to seven courses. BU offers more than 90 minor programs for undergraduates. A minimum of twelve credits must be unique to any minor and may not count toward the fulfillment of majors or additional minors. Your minor appears only on your transcript, not on your diploma.

A list of minors can be found in the Bulletin. Remember, you can minor in a different BU school or college!

To declare a minor, you need to work with the school that offers the minor. However, it’s a good idea to discuss the decision with your major advisor as well.