University Lingo Explained - Majors, Minors, Specializations & More!

As you explore the wealth of program offerings available to you at Lakehead, you will come across lingo related to those programs. Let us help you navigate the many options as you plan your academic journey. 

You may be familiar with some university lingo by now, but if you are still wondering, here are some common terms used that will be helpful as you explore your program options. 

What is a....?

  • Undergraduate Degree - The first university credential you will be awarded upon graduation.
  • Honours Program - A 4-year undergraduate degree with specialized and/or intensive courses at the 4th year level. It often includes a thesis or research-focused course. An Honours program is often required for further education either at the graduate level (Masters) or for post undergraduate programs. It is often referenced as an "HBA or HBSc". 
  • Bachelor's Program - A 3- or 4-year undergraduate degree. It is often referenced as a "BA or BSc".
  • Major - A program involving one primary focus of study (e.g. English or Biology).
  • Double Major - A program involving two focuses of study (e.g. Biology & Chemistry). For a double major, you must satisfy the requirements for both majors at the same time within your program. 
  • Concentration - A defined collection of courses that are embedded into and complement Honours or Bachelor's 4-year program. Some examples include Biology with a Concentration in Neuroscience or Social Work with a concentration in Indigenous Learning. 
  • Double Degree - Two undergraduate degrees from two different degree types that are completed at the same time and meet all the requirements for both degrees. 

If you have multiple interests and want to keep options open, you can also consider...

  • Minor - An optional collection of courses from a particular area of study that is different from your program and/or major. 
  • Certificate - A professional or an applied focus that provides learning outcomes that are distinct from your program. Check out certificates in Entrepreneurship, French Proficiency, Geomatics or Palliative Care.
  • Specialization - A defined collection of courses taken from a particular or variety of disciplines that complement the major. Sometimes specializations are open to all programs, and sometimes they are open to only one or a few. 
  • Concurrent Education - A way to earn two degrees at the same time  - a Bachelor of Education along with another degree that is offered concurrently with Education. 

To review the full list of all program offerings including the many options, refer to the Academic Calendar and start to navigate the different options by each faculty and program.