404 Wilson Rd. Room 406
Communication Arts & Sciences Building | East Lansing, MI 48824-1212
email@example.com | Phone: (517) 432-8001 | Fax: (517) 432-8065
Focus Area vs. Specialization vs. Concentration
What is a Focus Area?
A focus area is a term we use to describe the areas of focus within our department. Each focus area includes a variety of things, such as related news, events, academic programs, research projects, faculty, guest lectures, outreach, etc. See our focus areas.
What is a Specialization?
Specialization is an official MSU academic term used to describe a component of one's undergraduate curriculum.
A specialization is something that you may do in addition to your degree program. It's like adding on dessert with dinner - it's not required, but can make the meal better and more well rounded! A specialization adds an additional area of expertise or focus to your degree and is also interdisciplinary (meaning the specialization is run in partnership with more than one department or college at Michigan State). Depending on the specialization, it may be listed on your transcript when you graduate.
What’s the difference between a Specialization and a Concentration?
Concentration is an official MSU academic term used to describe a component of one's undergraduate curriculum.
You are required to choose a concentration within your major. Adding a specialization is optional and would be in addition to your major and concentration.
For example, within our Media Arts and Technology major, you MUST choose a concentration in either (1) TV, Cinema & Radio OR (2) Games, Web and Interactive. If you'd like, you may add a (optional) specialization, for example a specialization in Fiction Film Production. See our complete list of majors, concentrations, and specializations.
What is a Cognate?
A cognate is an area of concentration outside of the student's major. The cognate may complement your concentration area or expand your knowledge and skills in a different area. You work with your advisor to build your cognate.