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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:

  1. Humanities
  2. Social sciences
  3. Natural sciences

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

Applying for a Major

Students are expected to apply for a major during the semester they are completing 64 credits or more toward their degree. In February of each year, sophomores are informed that they need to meet with an adviser in the department they wish to major in. Detailed information about declaring the major, including useful FAQs, is available on the Sophomore site.

Application for Major in Arts and Sciences

Step 1: Review course requirements for the major of interest on the department's website or the Undergraduate Bulletin.

Step 2: Obtain the “Approval Form for Majors and Minors” from CCAS in Lattimore 312.

Step 3: Make an appointment with the departmental adviser to complete plans and gain acceptance.

Please Note: Departments in Arts and Sciences will accept students and assign faculty advisors if at least 12 courses and any specified prerequisites have been completed with a 2.0 or higher average. Any conditions of the acceptance will be noted on the approval form. Courses taken at another college that students want to use to satisfy major requirements must be approved by the appropriate person in the department.

Step 4: 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 freshman and sophomore requirements for their particular programs may apply for admission to a major in the Hajim School.

Step 1: Students should seek assistance from Hajim School faculty members (particularly their faculty advisors) and Dean’s Office personnel to help insure that introductory courses both explore potential areas of the major and prepare the student for the major that might be chosen.

Step 2: The student and advisor must complete (usually during the spring of the sophomore year) the “Approval Form for Majors and Minors.”

Step 3: The Dean’s Office reviews the application for the major, and, if approved, processes the formal acceptance.

All students admitted into the Hajim School of Engineering are responsible for four semesters of equipment fees. Students should be advised that questions regarding this policy should be directed to the associate dean 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 Center for Academic Support (Hajim School’s Dean’s Office for engineering and computer science students’ changes) and informs that office of the change. The “Rochester Curriculum Registration” is revised if necessary.


Double Major

Students wishing to pursue a major in two Arts and Sciences departments for their Bachelor of Arts degree apply to both departments following the usual procedure. They also revise the “Rochester Curriculum Registration” if necessary. In addition, both areas 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 Bulletin).

A list of the double majors in any one department is maintained by the Office of Academic Records. Students may obtain a major, or a double major, along with one or more minors.

A statement will be placed on the official record concerning a third approved major, although the third major will not be (cannot be) entered into the computerized record.

Overlapping Courses

No two majors may overlap by more than three courses. (Some majors such as HLS and IPA restrict the number of overlapping courses to two.)

Allied field courses taken outside the department of the major that are part of the core program are subject to this overlap policy, as are foundational courses that are prerequisite requirements and from the department of the major. Non-departmental ancillary course requirements (such as chemistry for biology majors) are not subject to this restriction.

Students submit the “Overlap Declaration Form for Majors and Minors” when they submit their second major form.


Double Degrees

Students wishing to pursue both a BA and a BS degree program, or two BS programs submit signed “Approval Forms for Majors and Minors” to the Center for Academic Support, along with a petition to the Administrative Committee seeking permission to pursue the double degree. All double degree students need to conform to the policies noted above under “Double Majors.”

In addition to the overlap policy noted above, double degree students also need to know that the Administrative Committee will expect them 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.