As a general rule, students are expected to be ready to declare a major by the end of their 3rd or 4th semester. Every college has their own rules and guidelines on when and how students are required to declare their major. It is important not to presume anything. You must find out about your college’s rules so that you can make sure that you complete all the formalities within the deadline. Leaving it for too late may result in you not having any options to choose from.
Colleges typically offer students three options:
Flexible Declaration Program
In a flexible declaration program, students spend the first few semesters in college taking classes that meet the basic requirements while at the same time exploring potential majors.
Freshmen Declaration Expected
Some programs, such as food science, music, design studies and a few others, have a progressive structure. Students applying to these types of programs must declare their major as early as possible. In many cases, they are required to declare their major as early as the first year itself.
Competitive Enrollment Program
If a student is considering a major that has limited space available, they must declare their major and apply to enroll in that particular program after completing one to two years of coursework.
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