Majors, Minors and Emphases

The following definitions can help you understand the different choices you face when deciding what you’ll study.


A major is a concentration of courses grouped around one subject area. Majors vary from 30 to 69 semester hours.

Many majors contain courses from just one discipline (e.g., a theatre major contains all theatre courses).

Other majors are interdisciplinary, meaning they include courses form a variety of disciplines (e.g., a management major includes courses from accounting, business administration, finance, management and marketing).

Joint Majors

Some majors, called joint majors, blend study in two fields. For instance, the philosophy-religious studies major allows students to take courses in both these disciplines.

Double Majors

A double major joins two complete majors; for instance, a business administration major and a math major. The student must complete all the coursework in both majors to receive a degree.

Because completing a double major with its heavy course requirements can be daunting, students planning for a double major must complete a double major planning form.


Certain majors offer the student the opportunity to specialize. For instance, art majors choose an emphasis in studio art or in graphic design.


A minor is a less extensive concentration in an academic field. Students use minors to develop a skill or talent, to study a field closely related to their major, or to follow an interest.

A minor is optional, although one major, business administration, demands that students choose a minor or a second major. Use the major declaration form to declare a minor.