I am trying to describe the individual components of a a list of academic degrees:

AS Accounting

AS Marketing

BA Sociology

BA Economics

BS Accounting/Finance

BS Information Technology

The first 'word' is a two-letter code indicating the degree level (associate's, bachelor's, etc.).

Is there a word to describe the remaining content of the degree? Normally, I hear this described as "An Associate's Degree in Accounting", or "my bachelor's in Sociology." Other words I have considered but am unsure about include:




I am looking for a word or phrase that could complete any or all of the following sentences:

"The _____ of my associate's degree is Accounting"

"The _____ of my bachelor's degree is Sociology"

"The _____ of my master's degree is Education"

EDIT: A bit more context for my request - I am constructing a database holding information about a university, and trying to name the field containing the second portion of the values listed above (Accounting, Marketing, etc.)

  • Most people would eschew the first three words. My _____'s degree is in _______.
    – SrJoven
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 15:48

5 Answers 5


Field of study is the generalized term for the subject of the degree given.


I think 'subject' would work for all your examples.

  • 4
    Please give a rationale for your answer. Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 15:53
  • @MattЭллен If you put 'subject' into the OP's sentences, it works. What better rationale could there be than that?
    – Mynamite
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 17:03
  • +1 - This answer also would have satisfied the requirements of the question I posted, but "Field of Study" was chosen by our user base.
    – AHiggins
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 18:34

I generally hear it called a major. Wikipedia says that's supposed to be for undergraduate degrees (Associate's, Bachelor's), but it should be well understood at any level.

  • 2
    major is a US/Canadian term; moreover only applies to undergrad. Field of study is universally understood, and is generic.
    – smci
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 23:08

"Field" would be my first choice, as in "field of study" — but "of study" is unnecessary in the context. The term is commonly-enough understood on its own that there's a classic corny joke about it.

Another option would be "discipline" (as in, "academic discipline"). (No jokes for that one.)

  • +1 solely on the basis of your usage of the word "corny"
    – AHiggins
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 12:53

I would suggest "scope", "field" or maybe, frenchy-fancy, "métier"

Though "métier" would normally not be used in the context of an aimed study but more likely in narrative, respectively casual language. E.g.:

After trying several careers, she found her true métier in computer science. (merriam-webster)

Additionally it is more conventionally used in a negative context. E.g.:

This is not my métier.

Furtheremore I neither know how common it actually is.

Subject, as suggested in the earlier answer, would work as well.

  • "Métier" is not common in English. An ngram comparing your three terms (all meanings) is here.
    – WBT
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 3:12

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