Skip to main content

The Nitty-Gritty Details: Excerpts from the ORC


Purpose: To provide a coherent program of study in a discipline or area of knowledge.

Options: Standard Departmental major, Modified Major, Special Major, Multiple Major.

What You Should Know:

  • You cannot exceed two additional majors/minors beyond the required major (in other words, you can only have three majors and minors combined).
  • Prerequisites to the major can be NRO-ed.
  • Major courses cannot be NRO-ed and must be passed.
  • Your major card does not signify your enrollment pattern. If you change your enrollment pattern with the Registrar, you must update your major card.
  • You cannot change your major or type of major after the first week of your last term before graduation.

Modified Majors

  • Usually comprise work in two departments with an emphasis in one.
  • Consist of 10 courses: 6 in one field and 4 in one or more other fields.
  • Require a written statement, to be filed and approved by the primary department and the Registrar, explaining your rationale and presenting a unified, coherent whole.

Special Majors

  • Elected by students who wish to design special interdisciplinary or interdivisional programs of study.
  • Consist of 10 interrelated courses chosen by the student.
  • Require two faculty advisors, a primary advisor and a secondary advisor.
  • Require at least one term but no more than three of independent study or research. One of these terms must be under the primary advisor.
  • Require that the secondary advisor teach at least one of the ten courses taken.
  • Require a written proposal stating the purpose and objective, as well as the classes to be taken, to be approved by a special Divisional Council.
  • Involve many steps: read the section in the ORC and plan ahead.

Multiple Majors

  • May be completely dissimilar (e.g. Computer Science and Spanish)
  • No course may count toward more than one major (although one course may meet major requirements for one and be a prerequisite to another).
  • The Culminating Experience must be satisfied for both majors.
  • Require a form signed by the Chairs of both departments approving the multiple major, to be submitted to the Registrar.
  • Require a separate major card to be filed for each major.

Honors in a Major

  • Are department-specific, but always require work that is clearly greater in depth and scope than expected in the normal major.
  • Require a thesis or its equivalent (e.g., experimental scientific investigation).
  • Admission varies by department, but you must have at least a 3.0 general College GPA and a 3.0 GPA in the major.
  • You must complete the major with an average of 'B+' or higher to receive Honors. Not receiving this will have no effect on your transcript.


What You Should Know:

  • Consist of at least 6 courses.
  • Must be declared no later than the third term prior to graduation.
  • Require the filing of a minor card, to be signed by the department advisor and the Registrar.
  • No course may count toward both a major and a minor or toward more than one minor.
  • One course in the minor may have received the grade NR, as long as this grade was received before the final three terms before graduation. (Individual departments may disallow this option.)
  • A student may not exceed two additional majors or minors in addition to the required major.

Last Updated: 12/3/14