A major (also known as a major concentration or concentration) is a term for the specific group of courses that give you a basic knowledge of a field of study, which is in addition to your core curriculum. A major is a term most commonly applied to a program of study leading to a bachelor's degree. The architecture College or School will define a framework for this specialized portion of your studies, including a certain number of required courses and a certain number of "elective" courses relevant to the major. The institution will also define your general education or foundation education requirements. Some majors effectively define your full course of study while others allow you considerable latitude, both within your field of study and in their other courses.
Although many students know what they want to take as their major before entering their architecture studies, most institutions do not allow you to officially declare your major until your second year so that you experience a broad range of foundation courses that will help you choose the most appropriate major
For some architecture majors you will need to take specific courses (pre-requisites) during your first year before you can even be considered eligible for upper level courses. Many architecture majors have limited enrolment so in fact you may even be required to apply to get the major you want, including attending an interview or writing an essay.
Associate degree programs can also have majors, for example Associate of Science (AS) in Architectural Design and Construction Technology. Technical certificate programs don't have majors as such; they usually carry a designation (for instance certificate in Computer Assisted Design) which is more specific than a general bachelor's degree title. Usually, the field of study at the community or technical college level is career-focused to the point where students do not take "elective" courses as they do for bachelor's degrees. Hence the designation of the certificate effectively stands in for the "major."
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