There are two main parts to declaring your major:
1. CHOOSING your major:
That is, deciding where you want to concentrate your studies. Some students know from early on in their college careers what they want to study, either because of strong interests they've developed previously or because of their long-term goals.
Many students come to college not knowing what they will major in, and quite a few change their minds during or after the freshman year. Considering this decision as a process - weighing your interests, gathering information, talking to people - there are a number of resources designed to assist you in thinking through your "major" decision.
See also: Career Paths by Major
2. OFFICIALLY DECLARING the major:
That is, applying for acceptance into the major you have chosen and gaining official approval from the appropriate department. You will declare your clusters at the same time as your major. All this involves a series of steps, outlined here.
Please note: If you are still undecided about your major or you find yourself asking, “Does my major matter?”, please watch the web-based presentation with Dean Hanna and Donald Asher, a renowned author on professional development in higher education: “Does My Major Matter?: Planning for Success in School and in Life.”
See also: Frequently Asked Questions
How to Declare Your Major
To start the process of officially declaring your major:
- Obtain a copy of the "blue concentration form." All students will be mailed a copy of this form, with a letter from the Dean of Sophomores, in February of their sophomore year. You may obtain the form from Lattimore Hall 312.
- Print a copy of your academic record from Access for reference.
- Review the requirements for the major you have chosen by going to the department's office or web site, or reading the University's "Official Bulletin for Undergraduate Studies."
- Prepare a tentative plan of the courses that you intend to take for the major.
- Find the faculty member(s) designated by the department of your major who are authorized to approve and sign your completed blue concentration form. You will need to make an appointment with an authorized faculty adviser to complete your form. These faculty members are listed on the "Authorized Signatures" list, which is available online at www.rochester.edu/college/CCAS/Authsign.html.
- Read the instructions for completing the form on the reverse side of the form. Those instructions are also outlined on this website.
From this point, procedures vary somewhat for each of the following cases, so we have provided separate links:
- How to Declare a Major in Arts & Sciences
- How to Declare a Major in the Hajim School of Engineering & Applied Sciences
- How to Declare a Double Major or Double Degree
- How to Declare Clusters
- Some FAQ's about Declaring the Major
If you have further questions about declaring your major and clusters, please check with:
The College Center for Advising Services
312 Lattimore Hall