The postsecondary curriculum in the United States refers to the educational and academic courses of study offered by a variety of institutions, anchored by colleges and universities and extending to include community colleges, junior colleges, technical institutes, professional schools of law and medicine, seminaries, and academies. For U.S. colleges and universities and these related institutions at the start of the 21st century, the postsecondary curriculum exhibits a highly standardized structure, format, and lexicon. Across the expanse of more than 2,000 degree-granting institutions, which annually enroll more than 14 million students, there is consistent usage of such formal components as “major field of study,” “minor field of study,” “general education requirements,” “distribution requirements,” and “elective courses” as part of academic degrees. These terms also are homogeneous ...

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