vector art of a lightbulb and speech bubble asking What are Departments at a University

What are the Academic Departments at a University

| | 2 minute read

You have done it. Decided to go to college and get that degree you have been dreaming of for years. The hard part is done; you decided your major and carefully chosen a university. You’ve been admitted and are ready to start your classes. But now you need help and have so many questions. What are the academic departments at a university? And what does academic department mean?

Let’s start with the first one. What are the academic departments at a university? It depends on the college or university you have selected. The best way to find the listing of academic departments and schools at your university is to seek some help. You can ask for help by either reaching out to the university directly or by breaking out your Internet search skills.

How are universities organized?

Most universities have a structure that includes academic colleges within the university structure. These colleges include a grouping of schools and departments. Some examples are College of Education and Human Sciences and College of Nursing and Health Professions.

University’s then organize all their majors into these schools and academic departments by discipline. For example, English faculty and classes are in one department; same for business, child and family studies, history, math, music, polymer science and engineering, etc. The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) explains that departments are often part of a larger division, such as arts and sciences. This separation of areas of study by discipline allows the university to manage budgets, learning objectives, and much more, while staying focused on student success.


How do I find my department?

If you are trying to find your school or academic department, the university’s website is a great place to start. Check out the main home page of your university and familiarize yourself with what is there. A lot of times they will have a section called “academics” with links to the colleges and departments. For example, The University of Southern Mississippi makes it easy for students to find all the academic departments and organizes them by academic college.

If you are still struggling, check to see if the university has a student success webpage. A good university keeps you, the student, as their first priority. The Southern Miss student success website has frequently asked questions, tips for academic and personal success, and much more.

And last but not least, don’t be afraid to make the call. Find the phone number to your university, which is often on the home page, and call them up. They want to hear from you and want to help you. Figuring out how the university is structured and exactly what schools and academic departments are at your university will help you be more successful while you complete your degree.

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