Undergraduate Majors, Certificates, Minors, Pre-Professional Study

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ACADEMIC PROGRAM DEFINITIONS

  • Program - administrative infrastructure supporting the curriculum.
  • Curriculum - the requirements for a major, certificate, or minor.
  • Major - subject area of study that results in a named baccalaureate, masters, or doctoral degree upon completion of a set of requirements. A major appears on the academic transcript.
  • Secondary major - a major that can only be earned concurrent with a primary major. A secondary major appears on the academic transcript.
  • Option - credits within an undergraduate major in which students choose coursework focused on a subset of the subject area of study. The remainder of the degree requirements are common to all students in the major. Options have also been called specializations, tracks, emphasis areas, focus areas, etc. An option does not appear on the academic transcript.
  • Certificate - an academic credential in a focused area of study. A certificate appears on the academic transcript and may be earned concurrent with a degree or on its own.
  • Minor - an academic area of emphasis that is in addition to a major. A minor appears on the academic transcript and must be earned concurrent with a degree.

UNIVERSITY REQUIREMENTS

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

Iowa State University offers a wide variety of undergraduate majors housed in six colleges. The requirements for all majors include the following university-wide requirements for graduation:

See Degree Planning for university-wide requirements for the bachelor's degree.

COLLEGES

The College of Veterinary Medicine offers the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.

For a listing of the majors offered by the Graduate College, see the Graduate Programs list in this catalog.

UNDERGRADUATE MAJORS

See Degree Planning for university-wide requirements for the bachelor's degree.

Major - subject area of study that results in a named baccalaureate, masters, or doctoral degree upon completion of a set of requirements. A major appears on the academic transcript.

Secondary major - a major that can only be earned in conjunction with a primary major. A secondary major appears on the academic transcript.

Option - credits within an undergraduate major in which students choose coursework focused on a subset of the subject area of study. The remainder of the degree requirements are common to all students in the major. Options have also been called specializations, tracks, emphasis areas, focus areas, etc. An option does not appear on the academic transcript.

Undergraduate Secondary Majors

See Degree Planning for university-wide requirements for the bachelor's degree.

Secondary major - a major that can only be earned in conjunction with a primary major. A secondary major appears on the academic transcript.

UNDERGRADUATE CERTIFICATES

See Degree Planning for university-wide requirements for an undergraduate certificate.

Certificate - an academic credential in a focused area of study. A certificate appears on the academic transcript and may be earned concurrently with a degree or on its own.

Certificates may be earned at the same time as an ISU baccalaureate degree or after the completion of a baccalaureate degree from any accredited institution. Those marked with a (^) may also be earned after the completion of an associate of arts (AA) or associate of science (AS) degree from any accredited institution.

Iowa State University also offers certificates from the Graduate College.

UNDERGRADUATE MINORS

See Degree Planning for university-wide requirements for an undergraduate minor.

Minor - an academic area of emphasis that is in addition to a major. A minor appears on the academic transcript and must be earned in conjunction with a degree.

PRE-PROFESSIONAL STUDY

Requirements for admission to most professional academic programs can be met by study at Iowa State University. Pre-professional programs such as pre-law or pre-med are not degree-granting majors, but rather tracks for students who plan to attend professional school (e.g., dental, medical, optometry, physical therapy, law, or veterinary medicine) after their undergraduate studies. Students can major in any field, and they will work with an advisor who helps with course sequencing and academic preparation for application to professional schools.

For more details, explore the Pre-professional section of the catalog and explore the links below.

Tracks