How College Concentration Courses Work

How College Concentration Courses Work
  • Opening Intro -

    We've been talking a lot about college coursework here lately. Last Thursday, we discussed college majors and how to make the switch. Yesterday, we brought up the subject of college minors and the importance of choosing the right one.


Majors, minors and college concentrations!

College Concentrations

Some colleges dispense with the idea of a college minor. Instead, students take a college major and then choose an area of concentration. For example, I have a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Labor Relations. I could have selected another concentration such as Marketing, Human Resources or Business Management, but I didn’t. Instead, I chose an essentially useless concentration that I have never used. At least not in union negotiating!

A concentration may not be viewed that differently from a college minor, but there is at least one important distinction: the concentration must be within the students college major. For instance, you can’t have a concentration in ecological sciences if your major is Business Administration. If you have a double major and that second major is Environmental Studies, then you can take the ecological sciences concentration.

College Requirements

Colleges and universities have exacting requirements when it comes to concentrations. Typically, there are three to six core courses that must be taken to fulfill that concentration. Those courses may only be offered at certain times of the year and prerequisites may keep you from taking these courses out of order.

Therefore, if your school requires that you declare a concentration once you have affirmed your college major, then you should work with your advisor to take your classes as soon as they become available. Miss a course and you could end up delaying your graduation, costing you time and money.

Your Choice

Choose a concentration that suits you. Yes, if I had to do it all over again I would have chosen Marketing, given that is a field I’m much more familiar with than Labor Relations. I’ve yet to supervise anyone where a union contract was in force.

You can also choose a second major to get to the concentration you want. Keep in mind that when carrying more than one major, you’ll need to take some additional courses to fulfill that department’s academic requirements. That usually means that your four-year endeavor to obtain a bachelor’s degree can stretch out to five years and cost you more time and money than what you had planned to expend.

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Categories: Academics