What would be your major


Senior Member
Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect

Someone I know is going to be a postgraduate in one university here, her major was about education in university but usually here, the major as a postgraduate student is more often than not different from the major as a graduate. I then asked her:

What would be your major as a postgraduate student?

I know my question is weird, but it’s very easy to ask that question in Chinese!! I want to know what major would she choose when she begins her postgraduate education. But the explanation is too long to be a question. May I have your opinion?

Thanks a lot
  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I've never heard graduate study referred to as a "major", major being one's primary concentration as an undergraduate (while taking other courses as well). I'd probably ask, "What degree are you going for in grad school?" The reply would be something like, "A master's in ________."

    Language Hound

    Senior Member
    American English
    Like Parla, I've never heard of someone having a "major" in graduate school.
    However, I don't think I'd be likely to ask "what degree" a person was going for in grad school.
    I would just ask: What are you going to get/ getting your Master's in?
    Or: What are you going to get/getting your doctorate in?

    EDITED TO ADD: In any case, the conditional "would" would not work here. Compare:
    What would your major be (if you went to college)? ==>Person most likely not going to college.
    What will your major be (in college)? ===>Person going to college.
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