A question we often get asked here in the Advising Center is: “When do I have to declare a major/minor?” And right behind that is: “How do I declare a major/minor?” Since I’ve already discussed how to choose a major or minor, here’s a quick primer on the policies and procedures for declaring.
The first question is fairly simple. All students at the University of Maine are required to declare a major by the time they have accumulated 54 credits, which means they have attained Junior standing. This does not mean that you are locked in to that major; you may still switch majors at will. But you will have an advisor in that department. The reasoning behind this is that the University does not want students to be Undecided by the time they are into their third year on campus.
The time frame for declaring a minor is much more open-ended. In the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts are required to have a minor. If that does not describe you (you are not in a CLAS major or pursuing a BS, BFA, or BME), you should check with your faculty advisor about your departments requirements. Generally speaking, though, a student simply needs to declare a minor prior to the end of the semester prior to expected graduation. Therefore, if you are looking to graduate in May, then you need to declare the minor before the end of Finals Week in April.
To actually declare the major or minor means filling out a form. There are many different versions of the Change of Program/Plan Sub-Plan form floating around campus. The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences had this form on their website. However, if you go into the office to get a physical form, they have this one. Either form works and they all require basically the same information.
1) First you will fill out the top form with your information: your name, student ID, date of birth, and the current date. For your “Current Program (College)” just write in which college your current major is:
- Liberal Arts & Sciences = LAS
- Natural Sciences, Forestry & Agriculture = NSFA
- Education & Human Development = EDHD
Also fill out your current major and minor. If you do not have a current major or minor, just mark it as None.
1a) “Signature of the Department Chair of the department student is leaving” is only required for students leaving the following programs: Foundations, Explorations, and Engineering.
2) Where it says “Change of Program (College)” fill in the college that the major is in. If you already have a declared a major and are just declaring a minor, then you can leave this blank.
3) For “Change of Plan (Major)” you will put in the major that you are declaring, if you are declaring one. If you already have a declared a major and are just declaring a minor, then you can leave this blank.
3a) “Signature of incoming Department Chair” is not required for LAS departments. If you are declaring a major in another college, check with that college’s requirements.
4) “Declare/Delete/Change subplan (concentration)” is for those majors that require a student to declare a specific concentration (such as Psychology) or for those that have voluntary subplans (such as Sociology). You just need to circle the appropriate action (declare, delete, or change). If this does not pertain to you or your major, you may leave it blank.
5) “Declare or Delete minor(s)”. Here is where you either name the minor you are adding or list the minor you are removing, whichever pertains to you. Again, you need to circle the appropriate action.
6) You need to obtain a signature of the chair of the department you are adding as your minor.
7) You only need to fill in the Double Major or Double Minor portion if you are declaring one or the other. If you are not, you may leave that blank. If you are, you just need to fill in the necessary information (same as needed above) and decide which is your primary and which is your secondary major.
8) After everything is filled out and signed, drop it off at the college office. For CLAS, that is Stevens Hall, Room 100.