Are you figuring out what to study? Do the words "major" and "minor" blur together?

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Let's break down the differences between the two and help you understand these terms with ease.

Quick Overview


  • Main subject that you will focus on during your degree

  • Most students pick majors related to their future career choice

  • Requires more courses to be completed

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  • Secondary subject that you study during your degree

  • Often used to try out another field or to expand your range of knowledge

  • Requires fewer courses to be completed

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How Many Credits Will This Take?

Each type of program requires a different amount of credits. Remember that the exact amount will vary depending on your school!

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Here are the average amount of credits that each type of program can take up:

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  • Takes up around 1/3 of your total credits required for graduation

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  • Takes up around 1/4 of your total credits required for graduation


Which program type is best suited for someone who wants to study a subject so that they can gain a basic understanding of a subject?

How Long Will It Take To Graduate?

There is no difference in the amount of time it takes you to graduate — whether you take two majors or one major and two minors, or any other combination.

Most students will finish their unique combination of majors, minors, or specialist programs within four years.

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But, it is common to finish faster by taking extra courses during the summer or take some extra time by reducing the number of courses you take per semester.

The length of your degree is all up to you!

Will There Be A Difference In Cost?

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There can be a difference in cost.

Some programs are deregulated — students that are in those programs have to pay more because they are more competitive and require additional resources during their study period.

Examples of deregulated programs (at the University of Toronto ):

  • Computer Science

  • Commerce

  • Bioinfomatics

However, if you are in regular programs, there are no major differences in cost between the different program types.

Mix Them Up!

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The great thing about combining different fields of study is that you can learn about different fields and create a unique mix for a degree that fits you best.

Your options may vary depending on your school, but here are some of the common combinations of programs available:

  • 2 majors

  • 1 major + 1 minor

  • 1 major + 2 minors

Take Action

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Now that you're more familiar with these terms, it's time to explore all the options in front of you!


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