When Do I Have to Declare a College Major?

Everyone seems to have a different opinion on when you declare your major.It seems that everybody has a different take on just when to declare a college major. Some say you should declare it right on your application, others say after freshman year. While each of those examples have their pros and cons, it begs the question: when do you have to declare?

Declare Your College Major

While it does vary from college to college, generally speaking, most ask students to declare their chosen major by the end of their sophomore year. This gives the students time to explore various electives and get some gen ed courses out of the way. This way, your junior and senior years can really focus on your major.

But Should You Wait that Long to Declare?

Some students truly don’t know what they want to study until they get to college—and that’s ok! College is the perfect time to explore different avenues of study.

However, going in with an understanding of what you want to study can help shape your class schedule, programs, and ensure you graduate in a traditional four years (which can save lots of money). So there are definite benefits to declaring your major on your college apps.

Don’t Rush the Declaration

Choosing a major should be a well-thought-out process with plenty of research involved. You shouldn’t jump into a major just to get your declaration out of the way. While you can switch majors, this can often lead to extra semesters at college to ensure you meet all the requirements.

We outline the various ways to explore college majors here! Get to researching and find your ideal major.

Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE!

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Join thousands of students and parents learning about finding the right college, admissions secrets, scholarships, financial aid, and more.