Majored In: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
February 24, 2024

"Majored in" refers to the specific field of study or academic discipline a student has focused on during their undergraduate education. This phrase is commonly used when discussing higher education, especially in the context of a bachelor's degree. For example, if someone says, “I majored in biology,” it means that their primary area of study in college was biology, and they took many courses in this field.

In short:

  • It denotes the primary academic focus of a student in their undergraduate education.
  • It's typically used in the context of a bachelor’s degree.

What Does "Majored In" Mean?

The phrase "majored in" is a colloquial way of indicating the primary academic discipline a student pursued during their undergraduate studies. When students "major in" a subject, they select it as their main area of academic focus and complete a series of courses and requirements associated with that major. The choice of a major often reflects the student's interest and career aspirations. For example, a student might say, "I majored in English," indicating that they took a concentrated set of courses in English literature and writing as part of their degree.

More about the phrase's meaning:

  • Choosing a major is an essential part of undergraduate studies in many universities.
  • The phrase signifies specialization in a particular academic field.
  • It often correlates with the student's career path, but not always.
  • Students usually declare their major after completing some general education requirements.
  • In some educational systems, the term “specialized in” is used similarly.

Where Does "Majored In" Come From?

The term "major" in the academic sense dates back to the late 19th century in American universities. It was used to differentiate the primary area of study from the minor, a secondary concentration. The phrase "majored in" became a common way to express this academic focus. The system of majors and minors offered students more flexibility and control over their educational paths, aligning with the increasing variety of academic disciplines available.

Historical Example

"I've decided to major in history, with a minor in political science, to prepare for law school.

- College student’s letter, early 20th century

10 Examples of "Majored In" in Sentences

Here are some examples demonstrating how to use this phrase:

  • She majored in psychology and minored in sociology.
  • He's applying to medical school after having majored in biology.
  • Many students who major in engineering pursue careers in technology.
  • She majored in mechanical engineering and worked around the clock to design the new engine prototype.
  • Our professor, who majored in philosophy, often discusses ethical dilemmas.
  • She majored in environmental science because of her interest in sustainability.
  • Though she majored in performing arts, she was still a Nervous Nellie every time she stepped onto the stage.
  • She majored in environmental science and advocated for sustainable practices for quite a while.
  • She majored in music, and no sooner than she graduated, she landed a record deal.
  • Many students who major in history go on to pursue law or teaching.

Examples of "Majored In" in Pop Culture

This phrase is often used in movies, TV shows, and books that involve characters in college or discussions about their educational backgrounds.

Some examples include:

  • Jeffrey Eugenides highlights the diverse paths of English majors in his work, stating, "Some people majored in English to prepare for law school. Others became journalists."
  • Katharine Brooks, in "You Majored in What? Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career," argues against the misconception that one's major determines their career, offering guidance for navigating the job market post-graduation.
  • In "Crazy Rich Asians," a character humorously claims they "majored in Thought," showcasing the movie's witty dialogue and rich character development.
  • The song "Majored In Broken Hearts" by Two Year Vacation delves into the theme of love and loss, with lyrics reflecting on the educational journey of heartbreak.
  • The TV show "Futurama" features Bender saying, "Of course. I'm a bender. I went to Bending College; I majored in Bending," highlighting the show's unique humor and futuristic setting.
  • An article titled "I Hope to Work in Journalism. Here's Why I Majored in Anthropology" discusses the unconventional educational path of a student aiming for a career in journalism, emphasizing the value of diverse academic backgrounds in the field.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Majored In"

Here are some alternative ways to express the same idea:

  • Specialized in
  • Studied
  • Concentrated in
  • Had a major in
  • Was a major in
  • Pursued a major in
  • Focused on
  • Selected a major in
  • Took a major in
  • Declared a major in

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Majored In":

  • What does it mean to "major in" something?

To "major in" something means to choose it as your primary area of study in an undergraduate program, completing specific courses and requirements in that field.

  • Can you change your major?

Yes, many students change their majors, especially during the early years of their undergraduate studies when exploring different areas of interest.

  • Does "majored in" only apply to bachelor's degrees?

Primarily, yes. The term is most commonly used in the context of bachelor's degrees, though similar concepts exist in other types of education.

  • Is it important to major in something related to your future career?

While it can be beneficial, many careers do not require a specific major, and skills from various fields can be transferable.

  • What is the difference between majoring and minoring in a subject?

Majoring in a subject involves a deeper focus and more course requirements, while minoring requires fewer courses and is a secondary area of study.

  • Can you have more than one major?

Yes, some students pursue double majors, focusing on two primary areas of study.

  • Does "majored in" imply successful completion of the degree?

Generally, it implies that the person completed the courses required for the major, though it doesn’t necessarily confirm graduation.

  • How do you choose what to major in?

Choosing a major often involves considering personal interests, career goals, and the subjects one excels in or enjoys studying.

  • Can graduate students use "majored in"?

Graduate studies are usually referred to in terms of the specific degree or field, like “master’s in” or “Ph.D. in,” rather than “majored in.”

  • Is it common to work in a field different from your major?

Yes, many people find careers in fields not directly related to their undergraduate major, as skills and interests can evolve over time.

Final Thoughts About "Majored In"

The phrase "majored in" is an integral part of discussing academic backgrounds, particularly in the context of undergraduate education. It's a concise way to convey a person's primary area of academic focus and is often a starting point for discussing professional interests and career paths.

To recap:

  • It is commonly used to indicate specialization in a particular field during undergraduate studies.
  • The phrase is relevant in educational and professional contexts, helping to understand a person's academic background.
  • Choosing a major can significantly influence career paths, but it's not the only determining factor.
  • "Majored in" is a flexible term, accommodating changes in interests and career directions.

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