The Major provides an opportunity to know a segment of human knowledge deeply, with a sufficient grasp of its modes of thinking and analysis.

The College offers more than 55 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, and many programs provide options for concentrating in any number of specialty areas. You will begin to explore your options in discussions with your pre-major advisor, as well as in your course selection over the first two to three semesters. Discussions with students or department chairs within majors will also inform your decision before you declare a major by the end of your sophomore year.

Take advantage of all of the resources that are available to you. By doing so, you will find the major that's meant for you.

Honors in the Major

Departmental honors programs provide students with the opportunity to take advanced courses, to work closely with faculty members on research projects, and to have the distinction entered on their transcripts.

  • Students with a minimum g.p.a. of 3.0 may apply to their department or program to become candidates for honors in the major. Some majors will require a higher g.p.a.
  • Applications for honors in the major are usually taken in the first semester of the junior year.
  • The requirements for honors in the major vary from program to program and may include special courses and individual research on specialized subjects under the guidance of a faculty advisor. In some departments, additional credit is authorized for work done by honors candidates.
  • Students who complete honors in the major will have this designation entered on their transcripts.

Individualized Major

The individualized major offers an opportunity for exceptional, creative, self-motivated students to explore innovative and multi-disciplinary fields of knowledge.

Students with an interest in the individualized major must demonstrate that the goals of the proposed major cannot be met within the boundaries of a currently offered College major or its combination with another major or minor(s).

Before contemplating an individualized major, students are advised to choose one of the available departmental or interdisciplinary majors in the College.  Because the individualized major is grounded in arts and sciences, most of the courses used in the major must be within the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS). Highly qualified students are welcome to apply for an individualized major if they have first declared a standard major by the end of their sophomore year. In order for students to submit the proposal for the individualized major to the Committee on the Individualized Study (CIS) by the beginning of their junior year as required, it is necessary for students  to obtain the recommendation of the undergraduate chair of their major department and the strong support of two faculty members who recognize merit in the student’s proposed individualized study and accept responsibility of acting as advisors. Please also know that designing a proposal for an individualized major requires a considerable effort and time as well as a high degree of creativity. Students should understand that their proposal may not be approved.

Thus, as part of the application process, students must:

  • Meet with Dr. Hocine Fetni in the College office no later than their fourth semester to discuss details of the major and the application process.
  • Provide a concise rationale for their proposed major.
  • Plan a tentative coherent course of study for the major, with at least 14 CUs, to culminate in a major research project which, upon completion, will be presented to the University community in a public lecture.
  • Find at least one standing faculty member in the School of Arts and Sciences who recognizes merit in the proposed individualized study and accepts the responsibility of acting as the student's main advisor for the individualized major and for sponsoring and overseeing the thesis.
  • Find another faculty member whose specialty is in some way related to the major but is different from the first advisor's and who is willing to serve as a second advisor.

Double Majors

A student pursuing a double major satisfies the requirements for two separate major programs within the College but earns a single degree, the B.A.

  • Students who wish to double major may do so by applying for, and completing the requirements for, each major.
  • Students interested in double majoring should consult with their pre-major advisor.
  • Major departments may have rules limiting double counting.
  • Students who are completing more than one major must use their largest major to calculate the number of overall c.u. and the minimum Arts & Sciences c.u. required for graduation. The largest major will be designated as the primary major by the College Office when the second major is declared.
  • If a student declares a second major that auto-completes the same Sector as their first major, a major advisor will make an exception to auto-complete a different Sector.
  • See specific information for College students wishing to declare a second major in one of several Engineering departments. The Engineering second major will not auto-complete a sector.

Second Major in Nutrition or Engineering

College students are able to declare a second major in either Nutrition or any of the major programs in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. In all of these cases, the student must also declare a primary major in the College. Students who pursue this option should be aware of the College’s policies regarding the minimum number of Arts & Sciences credits required outside of the primary major.

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