This question is triggered after reading the post "What does 本 in 本科教育 or 本科学历 mean?" In which, the word 本 was well explained, how about 科?

2 Answers 2


科 = 学科 (course; subject; branch of learning; field of study)

e.g. 医科,理科,工科,文科 (Medicine, Science, Engineering, Literature)

I study Medicine at the university = 我在大学修读医科(医学)

  • Considering the university offers a collection of subjects in different branches, so 本科 means initial/basic subjects?
    – r13
    May 6, 2022 at 21:25
  • @tianz So 本科 means 'four years study of a collection of subjects' and 专科 means 'three years study of a specific subject'? This means 本 in 本科 refers to 'general/ full' and 专 in 专科 refers to 'specific'
    – Tang Ho
    May 6, 2022 at 21:51
  • May I ask who is @tianz?
    – r13
    May 7, 2022 at 0:42
  • he deleted his comment
    – Tang Ho
    May 7, 2022 at 0:43
  • I see. I think it reflects the type of study - 本科, the same as the undergraduate degree that requires finishing certain studies within a certain time frame. 专科, with the time frame shortened, is focused on a certain field with studies narrowly tailored (concentrated) to that field. If the above stand correct, can we say 科 is "field of study", or just "study"?
    – r13
    May 7, 2022 at 1:16


科目 field of study

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