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Declaring a Major

Let's assume for a moment that several semesters have come and gone, and you have pinpointed a field that you want to make your own. You've thought long and hard about it, you've talked it over, for hours sometimes, with your advisor; you've pestered your best friend for his opinion in the aisles at Wegmans; and you've even called home once or twice. You're ready to act. What happens now?

You should visit the academic department and inform them of your decision. The department chair or the advisement coordinator asks you to complete a Declaration of Major form, and assigns you an advisor within the department. The form you complete not only makes official your choice of a major on College records, but starts the machinery that transfers your advisement records from your previous advisor to your new advisement home. That's it! You're now a genuine (fill in the blank) major.

Well, there are a couple of qualifications to all that. First of all, freshmen who are enrolled in an Academic Planning Seminar are expected to continue being advised by their seminar instructor for the remainder of that semester, in order to reduce confusion and file juggling. Secondly, there are some academic majors, such as business administration, nursing, criminal justice and social work, that have limited enrollment and which require certain prerequisites before you are granted acceptance into their programs. For these programs, you may have to file an Intent to Major rather than a Declaration of Major (same form, different boxes). This also brings you a departmental advisor, but you must wait until the second semester of your sophomore year before you can apply for full acceptance as a major. Your departmental advisor will explain the mysteries of this procedure and will help you tackle the prerequisites each department requires.

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