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

Homer Simpson studying and looking stressed

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

Quick Overview

Majors

  • 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

Flaticon Icon

Minors

  • 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

Flaticon Icon

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!

Person counting with their fingers

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

Flaticon Icon

Majors

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

Flaticon Icon

Minors

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

Quiz

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?

Minor

Major

None of the above

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.

A hand-written calendar with a highlighter sitting on top of itPhoto by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

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?

Bugs Bunny counting and sorting cash

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!

Bake Off Cooking GIF by CBeebies HQ

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

explore youtube GIF by SoulPancake

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

License:

Your feedback matters to us.

This Byte helped me better understand the topic.

I feel confident that I can apply what I learned.

I would recommend this Byte.

Connect with Rumie learners

Browse more content and join a supportive community!


- Discord Member

This Byte has been authored by

AC

Adrienne Cheng

Student Designer