New Transfer Student Guide: Declaring a Major/Minor

The guide for enrolled transfer students contains advice on requirements and deadlines which are critical to completing your degree on time.

New Transfer Student Guide



All students must select a major no later than four semesters before graduation. If you are a rising third-year student, you need to declare your major when you arrive. Should you not feel ready to do so, please see Dean Ozment about a petition to defer your declaration until the end of your first semester here. If you are a rising fourth semester student, you will need to declare your major as soon as possible, but no later than the beginning of your fifth semester. Stating a major interest on your admission application does not constitute declaring a major.

Majors can be departmental, interdepartmental (e.g., African-American Studies, Asian Studies), or interdisciplinary. Major programs require no fewer than 18 and no more than 35 credit-hours of work, which must be approved by the department concerned. In addition, some departments may require up to 12 credit-hours in related courses. Consult the Undergraduate Record and/or degree program web pages for each department’s description of its major program. Please note that many majors are competitive, and have detailed and challenging prerequisites. Since you may not be accepted in your first choice major, you should always have an alternative major in mind. Note also that several interdisciplinary programs limit enrollment in their core courses to students who have been accepted as majors.

You may choose to major in two subjects. You should know, however, that third-year transfers interested in double-majoring will face very tight scheduling requirements, especially if any College area requirements remain unfulfilled. The College does not grant additional full-time semesters to enable students to complete double majors.

All courses in the major must be completed at this University unless an exception is made by the major department and your Association Dean. Some departments allow you to count a transfer course or two toward the major, but until you have spoken with the Director of Undergraduate Programs in your major department, you should assume that you will do all major work here. You will likely not, however, be asked to repeat a course that you took for credit elsewhere.

You may not take courses required for the major on a credit/no credit basis. If you take courses here in your major subject before you declare your major, you may count them toward the major, given departmental permission.

During the first few days of the spring term, you should go to your major department with a major declaration form and your SIS unofficial transcript, identify yourself as a new transfer student, and talk with the program director or another undergraduate advisor who will help you plan your major program for the next two years. After you have listed the courses you will submit for your major, you will be assigned an advisor in that major, and then you and your advisor will sign the declaration form. One of the copies should then be submitted to Monroe Hall. Don’t be afraid that you will be locked into the courses you select at this time. Major declarations can be altered with the approval of the major advisor. Changes of major are possible after the fifth semester but usually require Summer Session attendance.

If you are a rising third-year student, do not delay the declaration of your major beyond the first week of classes unless you have filed an official major deferral form with the Dean's Office. Remember that you must declare by the beginning of your fifth semester.


In addition to a major, students may choose a minor concentration in a second subject. Not all departments or interdepartmental programs offer a minor. A minor consists of no fewer than 15 and no more than 24 credit-hours in an approved program of study. If you wish to minor in a particular subject, consult the Director of the Undergraduate Program in that department.

Students in the College may select a minor from several programs in other undergraduate schools of the University. If you are interested, you should consult the appropriate program director.

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