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Definitions of Academic Program Terminology

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Undergraduate Areas of Study

Undergraduate areas of study include all majors, concentrations, teacher licensure programs, minors, and second majors that are available to UNCG students. Each area of study carries a unique code, which is used to identify the program. Students seeking a baccalaureate degree must select a primary major, and may, after consultation with an advisor, also select a minor or a second major. See Areas of Study codes.

Also refer to Academic Units for a complete list of available areas of study and the departmental listings for specific program and degree requirements.


A major is a formalized curricular program leading to a degree. Each academic unit or department establishes the course requirements for each major program, concentrations within a major, and related area requirements. All program requirements follow the general structure described below.


A concentration is a formalized curricular sequence established to achieve a specific goal within a major.

Major Description

The following information is always included at the beginning of any program description:

  1. Name of Major
  2. Degree Awarded
  3. Total Hours Required for the Degree
  4. Area of Study Codes (AOS)
  5. Concentrations Available (if more than one area of study is available)

Program Admission Requirements

Special program admission and/or continuation requirements, if any, are listed immediately following the description of the major and degree. A number of programs have requirements that must be met before the student can be formally admitted to the major and permitted to take upper level courses. Such requirements usually involve completion of foundation courses, achievement of a certain GPA, and completion of a specified number of semester hours. Certain programs require portfolio review or audition for admission.

Program Course Requirements

General Education Requirements

All students completing undergraduate degrees at UNCG are required to complete General Education Core and Marker Requirements.

All undergraduate programs follow General Education requirements. Most programs in the College of Arts & Sciences have requirements (CAR) in addition to the General Education requirements. General Education Core and Marker requirements, including specific courses specified by the program, are listed prior to the major requirements. See complete General Education details and courses and College of Arts and Sciences Additional Requirements and courses.

Major Requirements

Major requirements include all courses that must be taken within the major department for completion of the degree. All undergraduate majors require a minimum of 27 hours in the major program of study.

Majors that provide students with more than one concentration or area of study within the major will usually separate the Major Requirements into Core Requirements and Additional Concentration Requirements.

A program of study taken by a student as a second major, in addition to the student’s primary major, must meet all requirements as stated for that major. For example, a student pursuing English as his or her primary major who wishes to obtain a second major in French, must meet all the requirements for the English major as well as those for the French major.

Core Requirements

Core courses are those courses required of all students in the major, regardless of concentration.

Additional Concentration Requirements

Concentration requirements are additional courses required only for a specific concentration.

Related Area Requirements

A number of majors require courses from other departments or programs for completion of the degree. Such courses are listed as “Related Area” requirements following the major requirements.

Teacher Licensure Requirements

Programs that lead to teacher licensure also list teacher licensure requirements.

Second Academic Concentration Requirements for Teacher Licensure Programs

Several teacher licensure programs require students to complete a second academic concentration in addition to the primary major program. Students in teacher education programs should check with their advisors or with the Teachers Academy for available second academic concentrations. Also see Teacher Education Programs in this Bulletin.


Most programs do not specify which electives a student must take although some may make suggestions. Electives are those courses taken to complete the hours required for the degree after fulfilling General Education requirements and major, related and/or other program requirements.


A minor is a formalized curricular sequence taken by a student outside his or her major area of study. Programs that can be taken as minors are described following descriptions of the major and second major. A minimum of 15 hours in a department is required to complete an area of study as a minor. Several areas of study can be taken only as minors. See individual programs for details.

Special Curriculum Option (Plan II)

For students whose needs are not met by the formal majors and degrees offered at UNCG, a special curriculum option—called Plan II—allows students to design their own course of study in consultation with appropriate faculty.

Students desiring to pursue Plan II should be advised that there is no guarantee that their proposed program will lead to graduation until it has been fully approved. Developing a program is a time consuming process, often taking one year from initial intent to final approval. Students must file a statement of intent to pursue Plan II with the Dean of Undergraduate Studies prior to registering for their last 45 hours. Required steps have been adopted by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee for approving Plan II programs. The following is an abbreviated description of the procedures that must be followed:

  1. Consult with the Dean of Undergraduate Studies regarding general requirements and procedures. All general University requirements and minimum admission requirements for the desired departmental programs must be met by any Plan II program.
  2. Select a faculty advisor with expertise in the interdisciplinary major.
  3. Select another member of the faculty to serve on an advisory committee.
  4. Develop a formal proposal with the committee.
  5. Send proposal to Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.

Minor modifications to an approved Plan II program may be made if approved by both the faculty advisor and the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. Other modifications require the full process outlined.

This page was last updated on July 18, 2011.