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What is the difference between a major and a concentration?

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  • Johnson House
    The Admissions Office:

    Simply put, a major is student's area of expertise (English, Biology, Economics, etc.) and is required. A concentration is more like a minor with a liberal arts spirit and is not required.

    Like a minor, a concentration requires a smaller course load. Unlike a minor, it is designed to bring multiple disciplines together.

    So, for example, a chemistry major with a biology minor will take mainly biology courses to fulfill her minor requirements. Meanwhile, a chemistry major with an environmental studies concentration might take a biology course on "Population Ecology," a geology course on "Geochemistry of Natural Waters," a religion course on "Buddhism and Ecology," and a history course on "Farm and Forest: African Environmental History" to fulfill his requirements.