Useful College Vocabulary

2 years ago

Familiarize yourself with some important vocabulary you will encounter throughout your search to finding your dream college or university. 

By LHS Aspirations


A specific subject a student would like to specialize in. The courses you take in college will be in this branch of study, and once you graduate with a major, you will have achieved a high-level understanding. Normally, students only have one major, however, some colleges/universities allow students to double-major. 


Are like "mini-majors". Typically, a student finds a minor(s) they want to further educate themselves in. A minor can be combined with any major, and it is common to have more than one.


If you don't know what you want to major in college, do not worry, there is a solution.

Starting college as "undecided" means, students have not declared or specified what field they want to specialize in. Instead, students will focus on taking liberal arts or elective courses that colleges/universities require their students to take in order to graduate. Although it may seem stressful to not have a major going into school, in many ways, this gives you the time to try out a few subjects you may have an interest in, and then discover which field you may want to continue studying. 


The time students spend earning a degree after they have completed high school. Typically, it takes four years to get a degree, some schools do have two or three year accelerated programs. Once you graduate college, you will have a bachelor's degree (after four years of studying) or an associate's degree (after two years of studying).  


This refers to the time students spend continuing their education pursuing a higher degree called a master's after receiving a bachelor's degree. Graduate programs can be within the same subject as your major, or you can choose to specialize in another field. Graduate programs typically take anywhere from 2-3 years to complete. 

Study Abroad

Do you like to travel? What if you could study and travel at the same time?!

Studying abroad gives college students the opportunity to travel to another country, while still taking courses and working towards completing your major. Many colleges and universities have a Study Abroad Office on campus that will help you decide which program will work best for your schedule. There are unless amounts of choices but doesn't it sound so cool to be able to practice another language in Spain or France, learn more about the environment in Costa Rica or Australia, or just be able to experience life in Italy, China, or South Africa! Study Abroad programs usually last a full semester (about 16 weeks) and there is enough flexibility to allow students to take a wide range of courses.