Academic terminology, e.g. program, department, course and module, are nested terms, depends on University, system and country.

Department vs Program

    • A department is a collection of staff who are organized into a unit for management and course planning purposes. Some departments have staff from just one area, while others have staff from many areas. The division into departments is used in particular for hiring and tenure decisions, which often begin with at the department level. Several departments are collected together to form a division, school, or college, which is the next level up the management hierarchy. Different schools use different divisions, but the smallest one is almost always called a department.

    • A program is a collection of courses that lead to a particular degree or certificate. These courses (ignoring general education) may be taught by one department, or by many. For example, a degree program might be "bachelor's of science in mathematics" or "bachelor's of arts in management". The mathematics program will require predominately courses from the mathematics department, while the management program may require courses from the management department, the accounting department, the economics department, and maybe a computer information systems department also.

Some departments offer a single degree program, while other department offer multiple degree programs. On the other hand, some degree programs are interdisciplinary and are offered jointly by several departments in collaboration.

Each staff member will work for one or more departments; these assignments are called "appointments". A student will not be part of a department in the way that staff are, but a student may "declare" one or more degree programs, and in that way each student is typically "advised" by staff of one or more departments.

The students have the choice of four ways to proceed toward a degree which embodies an education that is personally significant. They are concentration in:

    1. a department;

    2. an interdepartmental program;

    3. a multidisciplinary program;

    4. or an individually tailored course of study in the independent program.

Important: KOU departments offer a single degree program.


    • Anthropology

    • Art

    • Law

    • Biology

    • Chemistry

    • Computer Science

    • Civil Engineering

    • Software Engineering

    • Geography

    • History



Interdepartmental programs are concentrations in which the concerns of two or more academic departments come together, under the supervision of participating faculty members.

    • Anthropology-Sociology

    • Biochemistry

    • Earth Science and Society

    • Geography-Anthropology


Multidisciplinary programs concentrates on a single problem or series of problems that cannot be approached by one discipline alone.

    • Africana Studies

    • American Studies

    • Asian Studies

    • Environmental Studies

    • International Studies

    • Science, Technology, and Society

    • Urban Studies

    • Women’s Studies


Available to students who wish to elect an interdisciplinary field of concentration that is not provided by one of the regular departments, interdepartmental concentrations, or multidisciplinary programs.

Course vs Module:

A course is made of one or more modules packed together. Courses have the additional characteristics that you can affix them with supplementary features such as adding a survey, calendaring events, distributing diplomas or certificates and adding attachment.

A module is a themed subset of the course, what would be called a course in the US

The course is based on the teacher workload, whereas, the module is based on the student workload.

At Koya University, there are:

    1. Department = Degree Program

    2. Semester

    3. Course = Module