How does college work?

Universities are made up of colleges and schools, and undergraduate majors and graduate programs are within those colleges and schools.

Being accepted to a college or university does not necessarily mean you can get the major you want. At many schools, there are three kinds of majors: Open, Minimum Requirements, and Capacity Constrained. Some majors will admit you the same time you get into the university (called direct admit). Most majors you must apply once you are in college.

  • Open Majors: You want it, you got it.
  • Min. Requirement Majors: Take (and pass) certain prerequisite courses, then you can join the major.
  • Capacity Constrained Majors: These majors are the most competitive and require an application, including essays. Admission is not guaranteed.

Your college degree

A Bachelor’s degree is minimum 180 credits (quarter system) or 120 credits (semester system). Some of these are “general education,” (Gen. Ed.) which are required by any college to make sure you graduate as a well-rounded person. Your MAJOR is another portion of your credits, and may include prerequisites before you can start the core courses. The rest of your credits are electives, including a minor if you decide to have one, or pre-med classes. You must have the minimum credits and all your requirements to graduate!

A Bachelor’s Degree is much more than just your major. You must also take General Education courses, prerequisites for your major, and will also likely have room to take electives or add a minor.