What’s Your Major?
One of the biggest decisions you will make throughout your lifetime is your career. Your college major could play a large role in figuring out what to do with your life in the future.
However for many students it is tough to decide. Do not fret! Choosing a major, especially as a freshman, is not binding. You’re allowed to change and add majors as many times as necessary, that is until you have completed 135 units. So if you begin as an English major and one morning wake up and want to be an electrical engineer, it is possible!
If you are thinking about changing your major, you are not alone. Up to 50 percent of college students change their major at least once, many of those being more than once, according to a study by Pennsylvania State University. It is a simple process; especially if you change your major within the same college.
To change your major within a college, you need the consent of the department in charge of your proposed new major and the approval of the dean. To start, pick up a form from your new potential major department’s office. Then ask your new major adviser to sign it off, ask for your former major adviser’s signature and finally turn it in to your college’s office for approval by the dean. It’s as easy as one, two, three!
Changing your major to one in a different college is a more difficult process, but still not nearly as challenging as your basic G.E. classes. To do this, obtain a Change in Major petition, available at the dean’s offices and the University Registrar’s website. Acquire the endorsement of a faculty adviser in your new major and the major you are leaving. You need approval from the new college’s dean as well before you can officially declare the major within the new college.
Double, triple and (if it’s possible) quadruple majoring is allowed and encouraged for those who are able to. There is a strong possibility that you will not be able to make up your mind on what exactly you want to do or become extremely interested in multiple subjects. In that case, to add a major just get a form from the department or college office and get your new adviser as well as your current major’s adviser to sign it and turn it into the dean of your respective college. Make sure you have the courses necessary to declare the major before attempting to declare. Remember that you’re not allowed to declare a major during the quarter in which you have filed to graduate.
Declaring a minor is a similar process. Obtain a form from the department or college, get the department adviser —in which the minor is in— to sign it as well as your adviser for your major(s). Turn it into the dean’s office of your college and you now have a minor to add onto your degree.
So take your time in finalizing your major(s). It might only affect the rest of your life — no big deal!
The Academic Affairs Commission (AAC) is an advisory board to the ASUCD Senate on all academic matters at UC Davis and throughout the UC system. Each week the AAC will give you tips about academic success!