2021–2022 Walden University Student Handbook (September 2021) 
    May 28, 2022  
2021–2022 Walden University Student Handbook (September 2021) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Undergraduate Minors

Return to: Other Undergraduate Options  

Program Major/Minor/Concentration Comparison

Program Element Minimum Credit Hours Minimum Number of Courses Minimum Percent of Degree

Upper-Level Requirement

Distinct Learning Outcomes? Required?
Major 45 9 30% Varies Yes Yes
Minor 24–30 6 20% Two courses No No
Concentration* 20–36 3 Varies One course No No
General Education 45–70 9 25% Varies Yes Yes
OVERALL DEGREE 180 37 (or more) 100% 30% (or more) Yes  

 *Concentrations are not required for all undergraduate degrees.

A program is a prescribed course of study leading to a degree or certificate. A program encompasses the student’s major, minor, concentration or specialization, and/or emphasis. An example would be a program leading to a B.A. in Journalism degree.

In the United States, an academic major is the academic discipline to which an undergraduate student formally commits. A student who successfully completes the courses prescribed in an academic major qualifies for an undergraduate degree. The amount of latitude a student has in choosing courses varies from program to program. Typically, the courses of an academic major are spread out over several academic terms. From the example above, the academic major would be “journalism.”

An academic minor is a college or university student’s declared secondary field of study or specialization during his or her undergraduate studies. The minor is in a discipline or field of study different than the major. Each college or university sets its own regulations for necessary course work that constitutes an academic minor. Again, using the example above, the academic minor might be “business” because it is a field of study different than the major.

The concentration (for undergraduates; or specialization for graduates) is defined as a subset of the major academic discipline. An example might be “magazine journalism” because it is a smaller, more defined subset of the larger discipline of journalism.