FSD 17-28 Definitions of Majors, Minors, and Concentrations

March 21, 2018

Purdue University Northwest Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate Document 17-28

Submission Date: 03/21/2018 (Educational Policy Committee)

Senate Action and Date:

For Discussion, 04/13/2018

TO: Purdue University Northwest Faculty Senate

FROM: Educational Policy Committee

SUBJECT: Definitions of Majors, Minors, and Concentrations of Purdue University Northwest

The Educational Policy Committee requests the approval of PNW Faculty Senate for the Definition of Definitions of Majors, Minors, and Concentrations of Purdue University Northwest Academic Degrees. Purdue University Calumet faculty senate approved SD 14-03 – Definitions of Majors, Minors, and Concentrations.


Both minors and concentrations will be noted on student transcripts. The definitions to be used, including that of a major, are:

MAJOR: A major introduces students to a discipline through a foundation of theory and method. It consists of a plan of study with a defined set of core course (courses required of all students within a major regardless of the concentration) requirements selected to provide an in-depth area of study, and free or restricted elective courses (when available) that provide breadth beyond the major discipline. The approved major degree codes are for those baccalaureate degrees that Purdue University Northwest has approval to offer.

MINOR: A minor is a formalized curricular sequence requiring depth in an area of study outside of the student’s major area; however, it is not as extensive a program as the major. Most minors will be either (a) comprehensive study in a single discipline, or (b) interdisciplinary study focusing on a single theme. A minor consists of a minimum of 15 credit hours with at least 3 credit hours of advanced (300 or above) level courses.

CONCENTRATION: A concentration is a formalized curricular sequence within a major, and is included on the academic transcript. A concentration may refer to a subfield within a discipline, or to an interdepartmental and/or interdisciplinary area of knowledge while meeting the defined requirements of the parent major.

The following apply to both concentrations and minors:

  1. They may be designated only at the time of completion of the Bachelor’s degree.
  2. They may be offered by academic departments or academic committees with curricula authority in their respective academic disciplines.
  3. They are established and/or changed by following regular procedures for curricular matters.


  • M. Connolly
  • D. Detmer
  • J. Duzinkiewicz
  • K. Scipes
  • F. Wang