The major provides the opportunity to acquire in-depth knowledge in one academic discipline while developing and refining skills that will serve students in a wide array of academic and non-academic endeavors.
All majors and minors are listed on the official transcript once the student graduates and the degree is posted. Majors and minors, however, are not listed on the diploma unless a student receives Honors in a major through the Honors Program.
- Students normally declare a major during the second term of the sophomore year.
- To declare a major, a student should contact the appropriate department and make an appointment with a department advisor.
- After developing a plan for the major with the student, the department advisor has the major entered on the student's record.
- Requirements for majors are those applicable at the time the student declares the major.
- A student may change the plan for the major with the approval of the department advisor.
- Students may change majors after meeting with a department advisor in a different department.
Effective Winter 2016-Current | Prior policies
- Each A.B. or B.S. student must develop a major plan in consultation with a major advisor, who must also approve it.
- Course requirements for the various majors range from 24 to 48 credits at the 200-level and above.
- No more than 60 credits in a major (including courses in one department and the required cognates) may be counted toward the 120 for the degree. When an academic department has two or more SUBJECTs (e.g., Anthropology, Romance Languages and Literatures), a student may count a total of 60 credits from that department, not from each SUBJECT.
- No more than 60 credits in one language (other than English) may be counted in the 120 required for a degree. However, the 60 credit limit on courses elected in one major may be exceeded when the excess credits have been used to meet the language requirement.
- Students electing an area, interdepartmental, or special major may count no more than 60 credits in any one department.
- Students may not elect courses in a major, including required cognates, using the Pass/Fail grading option.
- A department or program may include Experiential or Directed Reading/Independent Study courses that are graded on a Credit/No Credit basis in its major, but all other courses in the major must be taken for a grade.
- A maximum of one course may be shared between the requirements of a minor and a major.
- No course may be shared between the requirements a major and a supplemental studies program.
- No course from the department of a major or a required course in a major may be part of a distribution plan (see, however, "Double Concentration" below).
- A student must earn an overall GPA of at least 2.0 in courses taken in the major. This includes all courses taken in the department of the major (prerequisites, required courses, and electives) and any required cognates. Exceptions for specific majors are listed in the Academics and Requirements section of the LSA website.
- Courses that are part of the student's major may also meet the Upper-Level Writing Requirement, the Race & Ethnicity Requirement, or the Quantitative Reasoning Requirement.
- Effective in Fall 2004, students graduating with an Honors major are required to earn an overall GPA of 3.4. Individual departments may have higher GPA requirements for courses in their majors. Check Honors major guidelines in individual departments listed in the Academics and Requirements section of the LSA website.
- Test credits may not be used to meet the requirements of a major, but may be used to meet prerequisites. Departmental exceptions to this policy may be granted by the LSA Curriculum Committee.
A student electing a double major must meet all requirements for both majors. Courses, including cognates, elected as part of one major may be used, when appropriate, to satisfy the requirements of the second major. Courses from one of the majors may be used toward distribution. Each plan for the major must be developed in consultation with and approved by a department advisor.
See Graduation Procedures concerning double major graduation policies.
Students may complete a second major any time after graduation by registering as a non-degree candidate through the Admissions office. Once the requirements for the major are complete, their department advisor must submit an on-line Major/Minor Release form to the Academic Auditors so the second major can be added to the student's transcript. Students may not add, complete, or declare a minor after graduation. They also may not change their degree (e.g., A.B. to B.S.) after graduation.
All departments and interdisciplinary programs offer Honors versions of their majors, which are coded as Honors Plans. At the beginning of the third year, or when it is appropriate in the department's process, students may apply to a departmental Honors major. Students who meet departmental criteria are eligible to apply whether or not they have previously been in the Honors Program. Admission of upperclass students is determined by LSA departments and programs. Students will be required to have a cumulative GPA of 3.4 to graduate with Honors; they may embark on an Honors major before they have reached that threshold, but the minimum should be attainable by the time they graduate.
Students who are accepted into an Honors plan automatically become LSA Honors students.
Honors majors are described under the relevant departmental listings. Candidates for graduation with Honors must perform very well in courses and also demonstrate ability in original thesis work, and, in some majors, pass a comprehensive examination. Effective in Fall 2004, students graduating with an Honors plan are required to earn an overall GPA of 3.4. Individual departments may have higher GPA requirements for courses in the major. Check Honors plan guidelines in individual departments..
Many departments require their Honors majors to register for special seminars and independent study research courses. During the senior year, Honors majors carry out research and write a thesis under the direction of a faculty mentor. With only a few exceptions, graduation with Honors requires the completion of a Senior Honors thesis.
After an evaluation of the thesis and the overall academic record, Honors department advisors recommend that students graduate with an Honors degree.
The department will then send one of four possible recommendations to the Honors Office: "No Honors," "Honors," "High Honors," or "Highest Honors." No Honors is given for work that does not meet departmental standards, and for students with GPAs under 3.4 ("No Honors" is not noted on the transcript or diploma). The other three will be posted on the final transcript and diploma. Honors majors are described under the relevant departmental listings under Majors & Minors.
Students may also petition the Honors Program for approval of an Honors Individual Major Program (HIMP). Information about the Honors Individual Major Program is available in 1330 Mason Hall.
In some rare circumstances, departments may ask the Honors Academic Board to graduate with Honors a student whose cumulative GPA is below the required threshold at the time of graduation. The request should be made by the faculty advisors who knows the student's work and history best, but must be endorsed by the Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Chair of the Department. The letter(s) for this request should explain the student's circumstances, describe the Honors work, and provide a justification for making an exception to the GPA requirement.
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