Choosing a Major

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A major is a concentration of courses in an approved academic area or discipline and makes up approximate 1/3 of the 120 credits needed to earn a baccalaureate degree.

  • Many majors can be declared during the application process, during your freshman year or when you transfer.
  • Other majors are more restrictive and/or competitive. Those majors often require a set of courses (prerequisites) to be successfully completed before accepted into that major. For those majors, you will declare an ‘Intent to Major’.

Majors that you will declare as 'Intent To Major' and that require acceptance by the department upon completion of a set of prerequisite courses:

To officially declare a major, you will fill out a Major Declaration Form. The Chair or Advisement Coordinator of the department will sign it and you will be assigned a faculty advisor. This same form is used to add or drop majors, minors, second majors, concentrations, and Teacher Certification Programs.


Key Points to Consider

  • If you have no idea about the ‘right’ major for you---don’t panic and don’t force a decision! The SUNY General Education requirement allows you to sample courses from a variety of departments and disciplines while meeting requirements for the degree.
  • Choose your major based on an honest assessment of your aptitudes/natural abilities, your interests, and your personality—it is a balance between professional and personal satisfaction.
  • Discuss your thoughts with parents, friends, people employed in your field of interest. Gather information on the industry and future job opportunities.
  • Take advantage of The Office of Career Services to explore majors and careers as soon as you arrive here at Brockport.
  • If you are seeking 'Initial Teaching Certification', contact the enrollment coordinator for education in the Department of Education and Human Development.
  • Remember--it is your degree, therefore it is your major!

Choosing a Major and State Financial Aid Eligibility

From an academic standpoint, we recommend that you declare a major by the beginning of your junior year. This insures reasonable opportunity for you to complete your degree requirements on schedule. From a financial standpoint, declaring a major by your junior year is required by the State Education Department to remain eligible for TAP or any other New York state financial aid. However, the policy does not preclude a subsequent change of major.

It is okay if you change your major, just remember--you are ultimately responsible for making sure all degree requirements are met.

Last Updated 8/28/17

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