Frequently Asked Questions
Jump to a question:
- When should I declare my major? By when do I have to declare my major?
- What happens if I don't declare my major?
- How do I go about declaring my major?
- I indicated a major when I was accepted to UR, and I haven't changed my mind. Is there anything I have to do?
- I indicated a major when I was accepted to UR, but I've changed my mind. Should I do something about that?
- Once I've declared my major, how do I make changes? What changes are allowed? Up to what point in time can I make changes?
- What do I do about clusters?
When should I declare my major? By when do I have to declare my major?
Students may officially declare (i.e., be accepted into) their major as early as their freshman year. Students are expected to be accepted into an area of concentration during the semester they are completing 64 credits, which typically occurs during the spring of the sophomore year. Students who do not declare their major by the end of that semester are sent a reminder over the summer. Students who have not declared their major by the beginning of their junior year should be aware that certain types of financial aid will be in jeopardy if a major is not declared shortly after the start of the junior year.
What happens if I don't declare my major?
In order to be recommended for a degree and graduate, you must be accepted into an area of concentration, or major. There are several consequences to delaying the process of officially declaring your major, which means completing the blue concentration form with an authorized faculty member in your intended major.
First, if you don't declare your major or delay the process, you lose the advantages of planning your remaining semesters wisely and with expert faculty advice, which are essential if you want to complete all the requirements for your degree in a timely way. You also lose the benefits of having a faculty member whose advice or advocacy you can call upon.
Second, delaying the process of officially declaring your major may negatively affect your financial aid. Certain types of financial aid will be in jeopardy for students who do not declare their majors shortly after the start of the junior year.
Third, at a later time in the junior year, if you continue to postpone the process of declaring (and being accepted into) your major and the balance of the Rochester Curriculum, you will be reclassified to sophomore standing.
Fourth, declaring the major is a "gateway" to certain special opportunities. For example, to apply to the Take Five Scholars Program you must have been accepted into a major. And, although you may apply to Study Abroad before you have been officially accepted into a major, you will not be permitted to go on a Study Abroad program unless you have been accepted into a major.
How do I go about declaring my major?
I indicated a major when I was accepted to UR, and I haven't changed my mind. Is there anything I have to do?
The area of interest you noted on your application for admission is not considered to be your official major. All students need to follow the steps outlined here in order to officially declare (i.e., be accepted into) a major.
I indicated a major when I was accepted to UR, but I've changed my mind. Should I do something about that?
Because the area of interest you indicated on your application for admission is not official, you need not be concerned about changing anything officially except if you want to change into or out of an engineering major. If you think you want to major in an engineering field, go to Lattimore 306, where you will be assigned an appropriate faculty adviser. If you want to change out of engineering, go to Advising Services in Lattimore 312 to let an adviser know. For all students, once you are ready to apply for official acceptance into a concentration, simply follow the steps outlined here.
Once I've declared my major, how do I make changes? What changes are allowed? Up to what point in time can I make changes?
Students may (and frequently do) make changes to their major(s) or Rochester Curriculum Registration into the senior year. Students should make every effort to finalize these decisions by the end of the first semester of the senior year.
You may change your major by going through the same process described here. When you submit your new blue concentration form, attach a note stating that you are dropping your original major. You will need to update your Rochester Curriculum Registration. If you are declaring a second major or petitioning to pursue a second degree, see the information under How to Declare a Double Major or Double Degree.
If you wish to make revisions to the courses in your major (but not change the major itself), simply discuss these changes with your undergraduate adviser and agree on the substitutions or alterations. In most cases, you do not need to submit a revised blue concentration form.
What do I do about clusters?
If you have further questions about declaring your major and clusters, please check with:
The College Center for Advising Services
312 Lattimore Hall