Degree vs Major

Degree vs Major – The major difference2 min read

The terms “degree” and “major” are often used interchangeably and thought to be the same, but the truth is they are quite different. Understanding the differences as in “Degree vs. Major” will enable you to make brilliant choices and decisions regarding your education.

Degree vs Major

What Is a Degree?

A degree is a certificate or qualification awarded to a student upon completion of academic requirements in a field of study at a college or university.

Degrees show a level of education, expertise, and knowledge in a chosen field of study. Degree levels include an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctoral degree. These degrees are admissible in various disciplines or fields ranging from arts to sciences, health, engineering, business, etc.

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To qualify for a degree, you must meet certain requirements, which may vary among the degree levels. For instance, to be admissible into a bachelor’s degree, you would need to have completed a high school education meeting the required subject specification for your chosen field of study or completed an associate degree.

Under each degree level, there are also degree types depending on your chosen field of study (major). They include: 

  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Engineering
  • Master of Science
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Doctor of Business Administration, etc.

Read this: AA vs AS Degree: What you didn’t know

As stated above, in order to obtain a degree, you are required to choose a major to commit to.

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Degree vs Major

What Is a Major?

A major is a specific discipline or field of study to which a student commits while pursuing a degree, especially an undergraduate degree. A major gives your degree a specific focus and direction.

Majors being specific disciplines fall under the umbrella of specific degree types. Therefore, studying certain majors leads to the awarding of certain degree types.

For example, studying a major in Biology would earn you a Bachelor of Science in Biology, and a major in History would earn a Bachelor of Arts in History.

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Under a major, you will have to complete the required courses/classes, including core courses, general courses, and electives. Depending on the degree and major you are pursuing, the number of courses you take may vary. For instance, a bachelor’s degree typically requires a total of 40 classes or 120 credit hours.

From all stated above, it is seen that a degree greatly differs from a major, though they may be closely related or similar.

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