The Academic Program
 
 
 
 
The Academic Program

Undergraduate programs in U.S. colleges or universities are designed to give students a fairly broad educational background, with an emphasis called a "major." A major is the subject in which you will concentrate your studies for a degree. You will take many classes in your major, especially in your junior (third) and senior (fourth) years. In some cases, you may also be allowed to take a "minor," which is a secondary field in which you want to concentrate.

Although you may find it unusual, it is quite normal in the United States for undergraduate students to begin studying for the bachelor's degree without knowing what subject they will choose for a major. During the first two years, undergraduates usually take a variety of courses from different academic departments to fulfill what are often termed "general education requirements." As a result, even those students who do "declare" or choose a major when they first enroll often decide later to change to another major that seems more interesting or is more suitable to their career goals. Most, if not all, coursework taken during this general education period will count toward graduation requirements. Usually, a student must select a major by the end of the sophomore (second) year. See Undergraduate Study for detailed information.

At the graduate level, study is specialized. You will spend most of your time in the department in which you are doing your degree work, although there may be some flexibility for taking courses in other areas of interest. See Graduate Study and Specialized Professional Study for detailed information.
 
 
 
 
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