Majors, Minors and Clusters
A major is the field of study a student focuses on most during undergraduate work. Majors are important because they will most likely define a student's career path after graduation. They prepare you to go on to graduate school or directly into a profession. Studying a particular field marks the beginning of career direction.
To declare or change a major, please speak with an advisor from the Academic Discovery Center specific to the NEW major. You can do this by phone or in person. For a list of the Academic Discovery Centers and their contact information, click here. Each student must declare a major if they wish to earn a bachelor's degree.
Major Change Petition: Students need to plan whenever they wish to change their majors to ensure that their proposed plan is within University credit thresholds. The petition form can be obtained from our Forms page or in any Academic Discovery Center.
Types of Majors Available:
- Associate of Applied Science (AAS) - 60-70 hours including Foundation & University requirements (will not necessarily transfer to other schools).
- Associate of Science (AS) - 60 hours including Foundations and one cluster
- Associate in Nursing (ASN) - 78 hours including Foundations.
- Bachelor of Art (BA) - 120 hours including major, minor or clusters, and Foundations.
- Bachelor of Science (BS) - 120 hours including major, minor or clusters, and Foundations.
- Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA) - 120 hours including major, and Foundations.
- Bachelor of Musical Arts (BMA) - 120 hours including specialized major, minor or clusters, and Foundations.
- Bachelor of Music in Music Education (BM) - 120 hours including specialized major, minor or clusters, and Foundations requirements.
Types of Degrees:
1. Standard Degree
A Standard Degree is comprised of 40-55 major credits, 40 Foundations credits and up to 40 elective credits to equal 120 total credit hours to graduate. A minor or cluster is not required.
To view Standard Degree majors, click here.
2. Integrated Standard Degree
An integrated standard degree is comprised of up to 67 major credits by selecting Option 1 or Option 2 below, 40 Foundations credits, and a minimum of 13 elective credits to equal 120 total credit hours to graduate.
Major credits and 1 Cluster
Major credits and 1 Minor or 2 Clusters
To view Integrated Standard Degree majors, click here.
3. Specialized Degree
A specialized degree has a maximum of 80 major credits, 40 Foundations credits, a possibly a few elective credits that will equal 120 total credit hours to graduate. The high credit requirement for these degrees is necessary to meet professional accreditation standards.
To view Specialized Degree majors, click here.
Education majors are also Specialized Degrees; however, each type of education major has unique requirements as follows:
- Education Specialized Major - 80 hours. No minor allowed.
- Education Composite Major - 55 hours plus education core. No minor allowed.
- Education Major - 30 hours plus education core. Requires an Education minor.
- Endorsement - 6-20 hours, defined and granted by the State of Idaho.
4. Interdisciplinary Studies Degree
The interdisciplinary studies degree is designed for students who wish to create an educational experience that bridges two or more disciplines. It is comprised of up to 60 credits by selecting from options 1-3 below, 40 Foundations credits, and a minimum of 20 elective credits to equal 120 total credit hours to graduate.
1 Concentration (30-36 credits) plus 2 clusters
1 Concentration plus 1 minor
2 Concentrations (30 credit maximum per concentration)
To view the requirements of the Interdisciplinary Studies Degree and the available concentrations, click here.
Non-Specialty Degree: A Bachelor of Science in University Studies is a non-specialty degree that allows students to design their own program. Degree requirements comprise of 40 Foundations credits, two minors and one cluster or one minor and two clusters, and elective credits to equal 120 total credit hours to graduate. This degree is listed in the catalog under the Interdisciplinary Studies department.
Associate Degrees: See the BYU-Idaho catalog for associate degrees listed under each department link: Associate of Science in General Studies is located in the catalog under the Interdisciplinary Studies department.
Click here to visit the catalog for more information on specific majors.
A minor is a group of classes comprised of 20-25 credit hours focusing on a certain subject. A minor can extend the scope of a major by complementing a student's main course of studies with a related skill set. In fact, some majors are paired with specific minors related to their field of study.
A student could also use a minor to study something completely different than his or her declared major. For example, some students may want to play a musical instrument or learn a foreign language that would not contribute to their career plans. Choosing a minor in that instrument or language is one way to pursue their interest.
After a student researches a minor and desires to study further, he or she can declare the minor through the Academic Discovery Center specific to that field of study. Minors are only required for students with integrated majors who have chosen not to study two clusters. Education majors require an education minor.
A cluster is 12-15 credit hours of study in a specific academic discipline. A clusters can be used to extend the scope of a major by complementing a student's main course of studies, or to study something completely different than his or her declared major. For example, some students may want to play a musical instrument or learn a foreign language that would not contribute to their career plans. Choosing a cluster in that instrument or language is one way to pursue their interest.
You can choose from a list of pre-approved clusters, available in the BYU-Idaho catalog. These are recommended and have been carefully crafted by the department chairs in each discipline. Pre-approved clusters can be declared at the appropriate Satellite Advising Center.
If necessary, you can seek to create a customized cluster with the assistance of our Academic Discovery Satellite Centers. Custom clusters require paperwork, but are also filed at the appropriate Satellite Advising Center.We recommend that you visit the Satellite Advising Center over the discipline you would like to study in your cluster. For example, if you would like to declare a cluster in art you would do this at the College of Visual and Performing Arts Advising Center. Click here to find a digital version of the custom cluster approval form.
Clusters are not required for every major and are not allowed in some. Please look at your major requirements to assess whether clusters are an option. Most commonly, if a major is Integrated and allows for open minor selection, two clusters may be chosen in place of a minor. Students pursuing clusters usually have varied academic interests and appreciate the opportunity to study in more than one area. Also, students pursuing graduate school often use clusters to meet admission course requirements of their intended program.
If you have questions about majors, minors or clusters, please contact the Academic Discovery Center that is over the program for which you have questions.