<br>I was wondering what's the difference between having a Specialist degree and a Major (with a minor) at U of T?
<br>Is a Specialist a lot better, or considered an Honors degree. Are Majors considered Honors as well. Also, if you are taking up a Specialist degree, are you not allowed to have a minor in something as well- or have a Specialist degree in two subjects?
Major: a major indicates specialization with a number of courses drawn from one particular subject area. A major program consists of 6.0 to 8.5 credits, including at least two 300/400 level credits.
Minor: a minor indicates a lesser degree of specialization, with only a few courses drawn from one particular area. A minor program consists of 4.0 credits, including at least one 300/400 level credit.
Specialist: a specialist is indicates a higher degree of specialization with a number of courses drawn from one particular subject area. A specialist program is allowed within any Honours (BA or BSc) degree or BCom degree. A specialist program consists of 9.0 to 16.0 credits (out of a total of 20.0 credits required for an Honours BA or an Honours BSc) including at least four 300/400 level credits, one of which must be at the 400 level.
I got that following information from U of T's website.
I'm planning to pursue a Honours B.Sc. Specialist in Psychology (Life Sciences)
All U of T degree's are honours degrees so don't worry.
A specialist is good if you are set on doing something in that particular field of study such as pursuing grad school.
In order to graduate, you are required to complete either:
a) One Specialist
b) Two Majors
c) A Major and two Minors
People have been known to do a Specialist and a Major, or some other combination greater than that on the list, but it doesn't leave much room for electives, nor much leeway if you decide to change.
And I agree with Medic that some Specialists are designed for students pursuing Graduate studies, but it is not true in all cases. A Maths and Economics Double Major (for applying for Economics) or a Neuroscience and Psychology Major (for students applying for either subject) are strong combinations.
As far as I know it is heavily recommended that you pursue a specialist program if your goal is graduate school. If you wish to pursue two things at once then a specialist plus a major may be the best option for you, as others have already suggested.
First and foremost, choosing a Specialist, major, or minor degree heavily depends on the intended program of study. The beauty of UofT's Subject PoSt (Program of Study) program is that it allows for an entire academic year to go by before requiring you to enroll in a program. This gives you the best kind of flexibility in finding not only the best program combination for what you want to study but for you as well. It also gives you the time to roll through all of your options with your college registrar and family members to help find out what will best suit you in the end. For the different programs there are different benefits to each degree option. Personally I am pursuing a Double Major, in Diaspora and Transnational Studies/Canadian Studies with a double minor in English and Spanish. However if you are pursuing a program that you are truly interested in, I would recommend a Specialist as it will truly allow you to immerse yourself in your studies.
Building on what everyone has already said, I have a joint specialist and the big advantage of having a specialist is focusing your education in a certain field of study. With two majors, or one major and two minors, you get to diversify quite a bit through what you'd like to learn. If you know what you want to focus on, then a specialist is really good way of fulfilling your academic interests.
With regards to graduate school, it really depends on the program you'd like to apply to. You can get in with a major and two minors or a specialist as long as you have the prerequisites and good grades.
Well in my case I'm going to do a Honours B.Sc. Specialist, I don't care for that double major stuff because I rather have maximum exposure in one field rather than just a broadened exposure in 2 fields.
Like I will take mostly Psychology courses but in addition to those I'll have access to take Neuroscience classes. So in my opinion It's better to do a Specialist in Psychology and take classes in Neuroscience rather than double major, and vice versa!
It mostly depends on where your interests really lie. As it's been said before, the great thing about UofT is that you don't declare your Subject PoSt until the end of first year, so depending on what courses you've taken first year, you can really get a feel for what you want to study. if you have a main focus, a specialist would be better, or a double major if you're torn between two programs of study. The major and two minors option, which is what I'm doing, is very handy when you don't want to just focus in one area of study.