Declaring a Major

In order to graduate from the College students must (in addition to earning 120 credits and completing the College's area and competency requirements) complete a major in one of the College’s departments, interdepartmental programs, or in an individually designed interdisciplinary major.

Tips on Selecting A Major

How to Declare a Major

  • Review the requirements for your desired major, including:
    • Prerequisites for declaring
    • Degree requirements specific to the major
    • Minimum GPA for acceptance and minimum grade accepted in courses toward the major
    • Internships and externships available in fields related to the major
    • Post-graduation career opportunities
  • Pick up a Declaration of Major Form from 101 Monroe Hall.
  • Schedule an appointment with an advisor in the department in which you wish to declare a major.
  • Meet with the assigned faculty member and complete the Declaration of Major form.
  • Return the form by the deadline (see the academic calendar)

You may submit the Request to Defer Declaring a Major ONLY if you are deferring major declaration because you have yet to complete the prerequisites for a major. The process of deferring a major requires the same steps as declaring a major and cannot be used to postpone choosing a major. Forms are available from 101 Monroe Hall. Deferral of Major Forms are not valid beyond your fifth semester.

NOTE: BIS students are not permitted to have a major or a minor from the College.

Deadline

Students must enroll in either a major program offered by one of the departments or an interdepartmental program before the last day of classes in the fourth semester; the program must be approved by an official major advisor. No student is permitted to enroll as a full-time student beyond the fifth semester without being in a major.

Students may declare a major in the first year, provided a department or program accepts them. Students who transfer as third-years must defer or declare no later than September 30. New third-year spring-term transfers must defer or declare by February 1. See the academic calendar for the exact deadline for fourth-semester students to declare a major.

Restrictions

Students who begin the fifth semester without either declaring a major or deferring declaration will be blocked from enrolling in the next semester's classes and may lose their enrollment place. No student may begin a sixth full-time semester without a declared major.

Number of Credits

Major Subject
Students must enroll in either a major program offered by one of the departments or an interdepartmental program before the last day of classes in the fourth semester; the program must be approved by an official major advisor. Students not able to declare a major must see their Association Dean to request permission to defer the major for one semester. The permission is requested on a petition available in the Dean’s Office (Monroe Hall) and endorsed by an adviser in the major program. No student is permitted to enroll as a full time student beyond the fifth semester without being in a major.

  • The major program will have no fewer than 21 credits; it may also require up to 12 credits in related courses.
  • Students who double major must submit at least 18 credits in each major.
  • Credits applied toward one major may not be included in the core 18 credits of the other major, unless one or both majors is interdisciplinary.
  • No more than two courses can be counted simultaneously for two non-interdisciplinary majors; an interdisciplinary major may share up to three courses with another major.
  • Departmental approval for double counting courses is required.
  • There is no triple major; only one minor is permitted.

Students who double major must submit at least 18 credits in each major; credits applied toward one major may not be included in the core 18 hours of the other major, unless one or both majors is interdisciplinary (see below). Students receive one diploma, but the double major status is reflected on their transcript. Credits applied toward a major may not also be applied toward a minor.

Courses used to meet area requirements in the College and the Second Writing Requirement may be offered in fulfillment of a first or second major or toward a minor, except that foreign language courses numbered 1010- 2020, 2120 for Portuguese, 2320 for French and 2060 for Chinese, may not be included as part of a minor.

Courses applied toward the major may not be transferred from another institution to the University except with special permission of the department.

The credit/no credit option may not be elected for the courses offered in the major program. Beyond the courses required for the major, however, a student may register for other courses in their major field on a credit/no credit basis.

Concentrations
Some departments and interdisciplinary programs offer concentrations along with the major. Students in these departments or programs may concentrate in designated areas of study that also meet the requirements of the major. Concentrations typically involve special topics, applications, or disciplines, and may include courses taken in other departments or schools of the University. A student’s concentration appears, along with the major, on his or her transcript.

Interdisciplinary Majors and Minors
A number of degree programs are administered by committees rather than by departments. These include African-American & African Studies; American Studies; Archaeology; Asian Pacific American Studies; Bioethics; Cognitive Science; Computer Science; East Asian Studies; Echols-Interdisciplinary; Environmental Thought and Practice; German Studies; Human Biology; Jewish Studies; Global Development Studies; Latin American Studies; Linguistics; Medieval Studies; Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies; Neuroscience; Political and Social Thought; Political Philosophy, Policy and Law; Media Studies; Women, Gender and Sexuality; and self-designed interdisciplinary major.

Students completing an interdisciplinary major may submit up to three courses toward the completion of another major. Not all programs allow this amount of sharing.

Students completing an interdisciplinary minor may submit up to three courses toward the completion of another major. Not all programs allow this amount of sharing.

Students who complete the Global Public Health track with the Global Development Studies major may count the four required PHS courses as “inside” the College credit.

Students wishing to focus on an area for which there is no departmental or interdepartmental major program may apply to the chair for acceptance in the Interdisciplinary Major Program. Such a plan of study must include at least 30 credits of courses, in addition to a 6-credit thesis. The program must also be approved by three faculty sponsors, who will serve as the student’s major committee. Details are available in Monroe Hall.

Distinguished Major
Students who show exceptional promise in their major field of study may be eligible for admission to the Distinguished Majors Program (DMP) within their department. This program consists of at least twelve credits of advanced work and a thesis, special project, experiment, or exhibit based on at least six credits of supervised research, advanced laboratory work, or advanced study, as determined by the department. Successful completion of the program with a University cumulative grade point average of at least 3.400 will qualify a student for graduation with distinction, high distinction, or highest distinction.

Foreign language courses numbered 1010-2020, 2320 in French, 2060 in Chinese, and 2120 in Portuguese may not be applied towards a minor.

Academic Standing

Students beyond the second year must remain in good standing in a major or have their enrollment in the College cancelled.

Double Major

College students may major in two College subjects. A Declaration of Major form must be completed by each major program (see above statement on credits). Some other schools of the University allow College students to minor in one of their programs.

Non-College students are limited to one College major and/or one College minor.

Credit/No Credit

The credit/no credit option cannot be used for courses toward your major. Beyond the courses required for the major, however, you may register for other courses in your major field on a credit/no credit basis.

Credits that Require Permission

Department permission is required to count the following types of courses as credit toward your major: