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Advising Handbook


Declaring a Major

All undergraduates, in order to be recommended for a degree, must be accepted into a major. Each major falls within one of the three general academic divisions:

  • Humanities (H)
  • Social sciences (S)
  • Natural sciences and engineering (N)

Students must use the Approval Form for Majors and Minors when declaring. This form is available in Lattimore 312.

Students are expected to declare their major during the end of their sophomore year or the semester they are completing 64 credits toward their degree. In February of each year, sophomores are informed that they need to meet with an advisor in the department they wish to major in. Students are sent a reminder in the summer if they fail to respond to the first notice. 

In November, an email is sent to juniors who still have failed to be accepted to a department. If students remain unclassified by mid-March of their junior year, they are reclassified to sophomore standing.

Detailed information about declaring the major, including useful FAQs, is available on the sophomore website.

Students are responsible for meeting all deadlines associated with declaring their major(s) and minor(s). Once a degree is awarded, no further changes to the degree may be made.

Application for Major in Arts and Sciences

Once a student has a rough idea of the courses needed to complete a major, s/he should make an appointment with the departmental advisor to create a course plan and gain acceptance. The names of departmental advisors can be found on our authorized approval page.

Departments in the School of Arts and Sciences will accept students and assign faculty advisors when all specified prerequisites have been completed with a 2.0 or higher average. Any conditions of the acceptance will be noted on the form. In making its decision, the department may ask the Office of Academic Records for a copy of the student’s advising record.

Courses taken at another institution that students want to use to satisfy major requirements must be approved by the appropriate person in the department and by filling out a Course Approval Form. Students can pick up this form in Lattimore 312. Transcripts can be sent electronically to or as a hard copy to:

College Center for Advising Services (CCAS)
University of Rochester
312 Lattimore Hall
P.O. Box 270402
Rochester, NY 14627-0402

Students simultaneously register their plans for the balance of their Rochester Curriculum. The dual-purpose form permits students to indicate the set of formal coursework (i.e., cluster, minor, major) that they will complete for each academic division.

Application for Major in Engineering and Applied Sciences

Engineering and computer science students who have met the first-year and sophomore requirements for their particular programs can apply for admission to a major in the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Students should talk to their Hajim advisor to help ensure that introductory courses both explore potential areas of the major and prepare the student for the major that might be chosen.

To be admitted formally to a major, the student and advisor must complete the Approval Form for Majors and Minors (available in Lattimore 312). It is the responsibility of each department to notify the Hajim School’s dean’s office of a student’s acceptance into a major. The dean’s office reviews the application for the major, and, if approved, processes the formal acceptance.

All students admitted into the Hajim School are responsible for four semesters of equipment fees. Questions regarding this policy should be directed to the associate dean of education and new initiatives in the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Changing a Major

A change from one major to another is completed in the same way as the application. After acceptance by the new department, the student returns the Approval Form for Majors and Minors to the College Center for Advising Services (CCAS) or the Hajim School’s dean’s office (engineering and computer science students). In order to change a cluster or drop a major or minor, a student may submit the Rochester Curriculum Change Form.

The Rochester Curriculum Registration is revised if necessary. 

Double Major

Students planning to pursue a major in two majors, both of which are bachelor of arts, should apply to both departments following the usual procedure. In addition, both departments acknowledge in writing that they are aware of and approve the student’s pursuit of a double major. This approval should be written on the Approval Form or in a separate memo, signed, and sent to the Office of Academic Records. 

Students are expected to fulfill the upper-level writing requirement in each major. Specific rules exist concerning mathematics-statistics double majors; see the Bulletin for more information.

Students who are double majoring still need to follow the College’s overlap policy.

A statement will be placed on the official record concerning a third approved major, although the third major will not be (and cannot be) entered into the computerized record. A petition to the Administrative Committee should be submitted seeking permission to pursue the third major.

Double Degrees

Students wishing to pursue both a BA and a BS, or two bachelor of science programs, must submit a signed Approval Forms for Majors and Minors to CCAS, along with a petition to the Administrative Committee seeking permission to pursue the double degree. All double degree students need to follow the policies above regarding double majors.

In addition to the overlap policy, all double degree students also need to earn at least 136, rather than 128, credits in order to graduate.

Students following a double degree program must fulfill all graduation requirements of both degrees.

Students who are pursuing dual degrees with Eastman (DDE) and dual degrees in nursing (DDN) have special requirements and should review their respective pages for more information. 

Our Majors

Use our academic search tool to view a list of majors either alphabetically or by division.

For more information watch this webinar on Major Declaration.