The Major

Nov 28, 2017 Katherine J Parpana
The major is a field of study chosen by the scholar to represent their primary interest in academia, upon which they will earn a degree after necessary requirements are completed. Below is a list of ways scholars can pursue majors within the college.

Declaration of Major

In the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, students must declare a major by the time they have completed 90 units. Failure to declare a major at this point may result in a hold on further registration. In order to declare a major, you must meet with your faculty adviser and/or advising associate, fill out a Change of Major petition on the OASIS portal and then file the petition with the dean's office. If you have completed 90 units, you must prepare a study plan with your advisor and/or advising associate at the same time. You are accepted into a major only after your major department and the dean's office have approved the Change of Major petition. With the approval of the College Executive Committee, additional requirements, such as completion of a particular set of required courses with a specified grade point average (usually well above a C average), may be introduced as conditions for acceptance into any major at any time.

Change of Major Within a College

To change from one major to another within a college, you need the consent of the department or committee in charge of your proposed new major and the approval of the dean. Admission into a major program may be denied by the program or by the dean if your grade point average (GPA) in courses required for the selected major is less than 2.000.

Procedures for change of major within a college are the same as for declaration of major and the same conditions apply. If you wish to change to a major that has admission restrictions, you must comply with the special procedures and requirements for that major.

Except under unusual circumstances, no change of major will be permitted after you attain senior standing (135 units). Students wishing to petition for such an exception should consult in advance with the relevant dean's office or the Biology Academic Success Center regarding additional restrictions and requirements.

It is not possible to change or declare a major in the quarter in which you file to graduate.

Change of Major Accompanied by Change of College

A change of major petition, available on the OASIS portal, must be approved by a faculty or staff advisor of the new major you are selecting. In addition, admission to the new college will require that dean's approval. To obtain that approval, you must be in good academic standing (qualitatively and quantitatively; see the Probation and Dismissal), meet all minimum GPA criteria, including those for the major, and satisfy any other admission requirements established by the new college.

Except under unusual circumstances, no change of major will be permitted after you attain senior standing (135 units). Students wishing to petition for such an exception should consult in advance with the relevant dean's office or Biology Academic Success Center regarding additional restrictions and requirements.

It is not possible to change or declare a major in the quarter in which you file to graduate.

Multiple Majors

A student choosing to major in multiple majors must petition the departments/programs/divisions responsible for the major(s) and the dean of the college. The dean's approval of declaration for multiple majors is subject to the following:

  • Eighty percent of the upper division units offered in satisfaction of course and unit requirements of each major must be unique; that is, they may not be offered in satisfaction toward the upper division unit requirements of any of the other selected majors.
  • Courses with substantial overlap in content will not count as part of the eighty percent.
  • Departmental advisors may approve only one course for substitution when considering the eighty percent in upper division courses and units required for each major.

When unit requirements of the majors included in a request differ, the major with the smaller number of upper division units required should be used to compute the minimal unit difference that must be met.

A student in good academic standing and with a minimum of a C average in the upper division courses taken toward the major may elect to declare simultaneously more than one major within the college or a combination of majors offered by the college and other undergraduate colleges on campus.

Cross-College Majors

The college does encourage multiple majors between colleges whenever your academic interests and abilities indicate this to be the best route. After endorsement of the Change of Major petition by the appropriate faculty or staff advisor in the colleges involved, each dean may approve the petition if there are sufficient differences between the requirements for the major programs you wish to study.

At least 80 percent of the upper division units used to satisfy course and unit requirements in each major selected must be unique and not duplicate those of the other major. In planning for multiple majors, you should determine the total requirements needed for each major as well as for graduation from each college involved.

All degree requirements must be completed within the 225-unit limit.

The same conditions apply for cross-college majors as for multiple majors.

Individual Major

Students with academic interests not covered by an established major have the opportunity to develop an individual major. Such a major requires the selection of interrelated courses totaling a minimum of 45 upper division units from two or more areas of study. If you choose this option you will work closely with faculty advisors to develop a coherent and rigorous academic program. This program is then submitted to a faculty committee for review and approval. Submit the proposed program to the committee prior to reaching 90 units, or by the fourth full week of the fifth quarter before graduation, whichever is earlier. If you wish to undertake an individual major, see an advisor in your dean's office or the Biology Academic Success Center. Program requirements are outlined under Individual Major. The College of Engineering does not offer an individual major. The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has suspended this program.

More information can be found on the Office of the University Registrar website

Student News

A new generation of marine scientists

Jul 27, 2017 National Science Foundation award will help UC Davis train graduate students for coastal work

Student News - More Student News…
Research News

UC Davis Receives Unique, $1.5 Million Gift from Aggie Couple

Jul 07, 2016 Michael and Joelle Hurlston have pledged $1.5 million to endow a first-of-its-kind chair position.

Research News - More Research News…
Outreach News

Summer Internships

Jul 28, 2015 CA&ES students and Salinas Valley employers find common ground.

Outreach News - More Outreach News…
Advising Resources