Choosing your major and/or minor

Major: You can choose one subject area of concentration within your BA degree – most students do. All programs have specific requirements for lower and upper division courses.

Minor: A minor usually requires half the number of courses in relation to a major. You can add an optional minor to your degree with any major. You can also complete two minors to earn your BA degree.

Honours: An honours program includes the requirements of a major plus other advanced courses that prepare students for the pursuit of a graduate program.

Joint Honours and Joint Majors: Are you interested in more than one area of concentration? You can combine two complementary subjects with the same weight (as opposed to a major in one subject and a minor in another). Available joint program options are specified in the undergraduate Calendar.

The difference between majors, joint majors, extended minors and minors is essentially the number of units you would complete in a particular subject at the lower and upper division levels:  




Joint Major

Extended Minor


Lower Division

~18 to 24 units

~18 to 24 units
in each subject

~18 to 24 units

~9 to 15 units

Upper Division

~30 to 36 units

~20 to 24 units
in each subject

~15 to 18 units

~15 to 18 units


Honors degrees require the completion of at least 120 units, including at least 60 upper division units. Of these, at least 50 upper division units must be taken in a subject in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

For more information about program options in a BA degree, please visit Choose your Program.

Find out whether your choice of major or minor will affect your Career Planning.