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Specialist vs Major

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  • Dec 28th, 2010 1:44 pm
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Jan 7, 2005
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Specialist vs Major

I have been doing some research for programs in U of T and noticed that they are offered as a specialist program or a major. I am just wondering, what is the difference between the two?

I've also heard about students finishing with a specialist and major, or just 2 majors and was also wondering how difficult it is to accomplish?
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Dec 3, 2009
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The general difference is a specialist requires more credits than a major, and a major requires more credits than a minor. Doing more credits in the same field might mean one has to take more upper year classes.
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Mar 21, 2010
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Also, if you plan to do 2 majors, only a certain amount of credits can overlap between the two majors.
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May 26, 2009
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I'm doing a specialist and major together, but it's only because five of the credits required for my major are already in my specialist, so I may as well take the last two-and-a-half to finish it off.

To me, it doesn't seem very difficult. Most likely because my specialist and major are essentially within the same field (Commerce) and are interchangable amongst one another.
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Mar 24, 2004
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I'd say do a specialist. I did two majors and a minor. Looks good on paper, but I can't hold a candle in terms of knowledge/background to my friends that completed a specialist instead.

Two prime examples are math and physics, the majors are soooo watered down (vs the specialist) that it's extremely difficult to do anything within academia (more like for general knowledge and interest)
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Aug 30, 2007
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At U of T, a specialist typically requires roughly 12.0 credits (out of 20.0). A major requires roughly 8.0 credits.

It's not a big deal which way you go. I know it sounds fancier to say you did a specialist, but nobody really cares.
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Mar 21, 2010
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KevC wrote:
Dec 22nd, 2010 8:07 pm
I'd say do a specialist. I did two majors and a minor. Looks good on paper, but I can't hold a candle in terms of knowledge/background to my friends that completed a specialist instead.

Two prime examples are math and physics, the majors are soooo watered down (vs the specialist) that it's extremely difficult to do anything within academia (more like for general knowledge and interest)

+1. As mentioned by PhilRelgStudent, sometimes upper year courses are restricted to specialist degrees. It ultimately comes down to what you want to do after undergrad. If you are planning grad school, selecting a specialist related to the field is really useful later on.
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Dec 14, 2010
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scarborough
i'm interested in this too. i'd like to get to grad school at u of t either for cell systems, biotech or psychology (or any other life science based masters program). would it be better to do a double major in bio and neuroscience, or a specialist in human biology or neuroscience.
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Nov 25, 2009
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^Grad schools prefer either a specialist or a double major (which gives you a HBsc at UofT). Human bio is kinda generic since that's what most people take because they want to get into med school. Neuroscience is a really tough major, it's better to do something a bit easier, and then take the harder program in grad school.
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