Academic specialization

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In academic, specialization (or specialisation) may be a course of study or major at an academic institution or may refer to the field in which a specialist practices. In the case of an educator, academic specialization pertains to the subject that they specialize in and teach.[1] It is considered a precondition of objective truth and works by restricting the mind's propensity for eclecticism through methodological rigor and studious effort.[2] It is also employed as an information-management strategy, which operates by fragmenting an issue into different fields or areas of expertise to obtain truth.[2] In recent years, a new avenue of specialization has manifested through double majoring. It is a way to allow for a more diverse exposure to the college curriculum.[3]


As the volume of knowledge accumulated by humanity became too great, increasing specialization in academia appeared in response.[4] There are also cases when this concept emerged from state policy-making to pursue goals such as national competitiveness. For instance, there is the case of Britain who began coordinating academic specialization - through the founding of the Imperial College - to catch up to the United States and Germany, particularly in the fields of scientific and technical education.[5]

Further reading[edit]

  • Crichton, Danny. "Adventures in Academia: The Dangers of (Over)Specialization". Stanford Daily. Retrieved 2017-03-04.


  1. ^ Kytle, Jackson (2012). To Want to Learn:nbnfkr Insights and Provocations for Engaged Learning, 2nd ed. New York: Palggrave Macmillan. p. 120. ISBN 9780230338203.
  2. ^ a b Davies, Martin (2006). Historics: Why History Dominates Contemporary Society. New York: Routledge. p. 168. ISBN 0415261651.
  3. ^ Pitt, Richard; Pirtle, Whitney N. Laster; Metzger, Ashley Noel (2017). "Academic Specialization, Double Majoring, and the Threat to Breadth in Academic Knowledge". The Journal of General Education. 66 (3–4): 166–191. doi:10.5325/jgeneeduc.66.3-4.0166. ISSN 0021-3667.
  4. ^ Yale Forest School News, Volumes 77-78. Yale Forestry Alumni Assn. 1990. p. 5.
  5. ^ Feingold, Mordechai (2003). History of Universities: Volume XVIII/1 2003, Volume 18. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 124. ISBN 0199262020.

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