What Do You Need to Know About Majors and Concentrations?
Your major is the area of academic study that you choose to specialize in, like math or sociology. When you finish your studies at Grinnell, you’ll receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in your major.
Grinnell offers 27 majors, from anthropology to theatre. You’ll typically declare a major in your second year. That’s when you’ll select a faculty adviser from your major department.
No matter what subject you major in, you’ll have lots of opportunities to explore the liberal arts. At Grinnell, just 25% of your courses over four years will be required for your major. The remaining 75% of your schedule is entirely up to you.
What is a concentration?
Concentrations can be thought of as optional “mini-majors” that allow you to specialize in an additional area of study. Grinnell offers twelve concentrations in fields ranging from Latin American studies to statistics.
Unlike majors, concentrations include coursework from multiple academic departments. They are also typically completed in 24 credits (six four-credit classes), whereas majors require a minimum of 32 credits.
What if the major you’re interested in doesn’t exist?
If you don’t see an established major that suits your interests and goals, create your own! Self-motivated students who demonstrate high academic achievement may design an independent major with two faculty advisers.
In past years, students have graduated with independent majors in areas such as Applied Linguistics, Film and Visual Culture, and Global Development and Entrepreneurship.
And if you’re passionate about developing a deep understanding of two different disciplines? Consider declaring a double major.
Will your major determine your future?
Declaring a major is an important decision. Your major influences what you study, which professors you interact with, and the framework you use to understand the world. But it is not the end-all, be-all of your college education (or your life).
Some students end up going on to graduate programs or careers that are directly related to their major. Many others do not. Both types of students find that a Grinnell education prepares them to succeed and thrive in a wide variety of post-graduate careers.