The requirements for a major are defined by different academic departments within the university. Majors can be broadly or narrowly defined depending upon how specific the options offered by the department. For instance, some schools might offer a major in the general field of economics while others might offer more narrowly defined studies, such as Latin American economics. A broad major allows you to choose an array of electives, or optional classes, while the major with a narrower focus often allows fewer choices in courses.
A college minor may be optional and requires fewer courses than your major. Whereas a major will often require prerequisite classes and classes across a different fields within the department, a minor may be more of a survey of the department. Completion of a minor sometimes requires completion of as few as five classes within the academic department. Not all academic departments offer courses of study for minors. For example, a student might major in international business and add a minor in a language like Chinese.