Declaring a Major
The selection of a major is extremely important and is a requirement for completion of your Vanderbilt degree. You may formally declare a major at any time during your third semester of residence but must do so no later than your fourth semester. (Typically, this deadline is the Friday prior to Spring Break of the sophomore year.) The general process is outlined below. If you want to create your own interdisciplinary major, pay particular attention to the guidelines for an individually designed interdisciplinary major.
To assist you in selecting a major, the College of Arts and Science sponsors a majors fair every fall semester where you can familiarize yourself with the requirements for individual majors. This information is also available on most departments' websites.
Students officially declare their majors by submitting the relevant paperwork to the Office of Undergraduate Education for the College of Arts and Science.
How to Declare a Major
To declare a major:
- Complete the Declaration of Major form.
- Have the form signed by an academic adviser in the major department(s). If you are declaring multiple majors, the form you submit must include the signatures of all your major advisers. The process for assigning academic advisers and obtaining signatures varies by department. Visit the relevant department website or contact the department office for instructions.
- Leave one copy of the completed form with each major department.
- Email the completed form to the Office of Undergraduate Education at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Keep a copy of the form for your records.
Note: Your major is not considered officially declared until your form has been submitted to and processed by the Office of Undergraduate Education.
- To add, drop, or edit a major (e.g., change your track within a major), you must repeat the above process for each change you wish to make. The form is the same, but the section you complete will vary depending on the change you wish to make. For assistance with changes, speak with your academic adviser.
- Seniors who wish to make changes to their majors may do so only before the fifth class day of their senior year.
Double and Triple Majors
You may declare up to three majors. Double majors do not require special permission. However, if you wish to declare three majors, you must first petition the Administrative Committee (email email@example.com for more information). Each Arts and Science non-interdisciplinary major must include at least 24 credit hours that count solely toward that major.
The individually-designed interdisciplinary major allows you to custom-design a major consisting of at least 48 hours of approved work. The major must be constructed around a coherent academic purpose and may draw together the academic resources of a number of departments and schools. Students must follow specific guidelines to custom-design their own major; please read these guidelines carefully.
To develop an interdisciplinary major, you must submit a completed course plan with the faculty adviser’s signature; the written rationale; and the Declaration of Major Form, also with the adviser’s signature, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please contact the Office of Undergraduate Education at (615) 343-5387 or
for deadlines to submit the paperwork and to make a preliminary appointment with the Chair of the Committee on Individual Programs.
Make every effort to be clear and accurate when compiling the course plan, as it will serve as a statement of required courses for the major. Normally, no more than three introductory-level courses will be counted toward an individually designed interdisciplinary major. Note that you must achieve at least a 2.000 GPA in all work taken toward fulfilling the course plan.
If you wish to make changes to your interdisciplinary major, you must complete the Request for Change in Interdisciplinary Major Course Plan, secure your adviser’s signature, and submit the changes for approval to 350 Buttrick Hall or email@example.com .