Academic minor

Academic minor

An academic minor is a U.S. or Canadian college or university student's declared secondary field of study or specialization during his or her undergraduate studies. As with an academic major, the college or university in question lays out a framework of required classes or class types a student must complete to earn the minor -- although the latitude the student is given changes from college to college.

Academic minors and majors differ in that the former is subordinate to the latter. Some students will prepare for their intended career with their major, while pursuing personal interests with a minor. Other students pursue a minor to provide specific specialization and thus make themselves more attractive to employers. For example, secondary education teachers often major in their subject area, as history or chemistry or mathematics, and minor in education.

The concept of an academic major or minor is unique to the United States and Canada, where President A. Lawrence Lowell of Harvard created the system in 1910.Charles McGrath, "What Every Student Should Know", "New York Times" Education Life, January 8, 2006. [] ] In other countries, like South Africa and the United Kingdom, students must focus on a single area of study.


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