Declare or Change a Major (2024)

Overview

Most questions about declaring or changing a major are best answered by the major departments. This page will help you understand where to go for information and help you understand some college-wide policies on declaring or changing a major.

If you’re looking for how to find the best major for you, see our page.For information on adding multiple majors, see our page.

Declare or Change a Major FAQ

How to declare/change a major

Each major has different requirements in order to declare and different processes. Most major departments in L&S have clear guidelines for declaration on the major’s website. If you have trouble finding your department’s website, you can always go to the Berkeley Academic Guide to look up your major. Click to find the department’s website link under either “About the Program” or under “Contact Information.”

Some students believe it is easier to declare a major if you are undeclared rather than already declared in a different major. However, the process to change a major is the same as declaring a major for the first time.

If you have further questions, contact your intended major department and/or specific Undergraduate Major Adviser for support.

When to declare

Declaring a major by 90 units

A student may declare a major program as early as the student decides, consistent with any major prerequisites, but must declare it not later than the beginning of the junior year. College of Letters and Science (L&S) students who have not declared a major by the time they have 90-units (not including high school exam units) in progress will get a registration holdthat will prevent them from registering in courses for a future semester (see FAQ below for more information). This is because a major is required to complete an undergraduate degree. L&S places registration holds to ensure that all students have a plan to complete a major within the time limits for degree completion.

Major-specific deadlines

Some majors have their own deadlines to declare. High demand majors (see next FAQ) have deadlines, but other majors may have their own deadlines as well. Most major departments in L&S have clear guidelines for declaration on the major’s website, including deadlines.

If you have further questions, contact your intended major department for support.

Finalizing majors/minors prior to egt term

Changing majors and adding double majors are all actions that must be takenbeforeyour EGT term. Simultaneous degrees should be added at least two terms prior to graduation. See ourMajors/Minors sectionfor more about these options.

If you wish to change your major or declare a double major/simultaneous degree in your final semester, you will be ineligible to graduate that term and must change your EGT to a future term, even if you do not plan to be enrolled in that term (see FAQ for extra steps if you will not be enrolled).

Possible Exception: Undeclared in EGT Term

If you are undeclared and are able to declare a major in your EGT term, you will be allowed to graduate. However, some major departments will not allow students to declare in their final term, so check with your intended major department in advance. You may need to move your EGT term if you cannot declare in your final semester.

High Demand majors

A few of the majors in L&S are considered "High Demand". For more information about L&S High Demand majors and policies, please go to the .

Undeclared at 90 Units Registration Hold

A student may declare a major program as early as the student decides, consistent with any major prerequisites, but must declare it not later than the beginning of the junior year.

In an effort to ensure that all students have a plan to declare their major by the beginning of their junior year, this hold is placed if you have not declared a major by the time you have 90 units in progress or completed. Any transfer units you have earned will be included in this calculation, but high school exam units such as AP or IB will not counted against you.

Transfers in their first semester will not receive this hold.

Instructions to remove the hold:

  • If you are eligible to declare your intended major:Declare your major as soon as possible and contact yourUndergraduate Major Adviserto release the hold.

  • If you are on track to complete the prerequisites for your major, but not yet eligible to declare:Contact your intended major department. If theUndergraduate Major Adviserbelieves that you are making good progress to declare the major, they may release the registration hold.

  • If you are not yet able to declare and the Undergraduate Major Adviser has concerns about your progress to declare your intended major:Meet with anUndergraduate Major Adviserto discuss your plan to declare the major and ask them to sign and completeConditions to Declare and Program Plan forms. Then meet with an L&S College Adviser to review the Conditions to Declare and Program Plan forms and discuss releasing the registration hold. If the L&S College Adviser has concerns about your ability to declare and complete your intended major in your remaining time, you may be asked to bring a Conditions to Declare and Program Plan form from an alternate major department.

  • If you have received this hold due to the fact that you earned a high number of college units before high school graduation, and are not yet eligible to declare a major: please emailasklns@berkeley.eduand include your SID in your email. You are still encouraged to meet with anUndergraduate Major Adviser to explore options for your area(s) of interest.

If you would like support in exploring areas of interest, we encourage you to meet with a Undergraduate Major Adviser or an L&S College Adviser for support. Additional resources such astheCareer Counseling Library(link is external)are also available to help you find the best major for you.

Is it too late to change majors?

You may change your mind about your major after starting at UC Berkeley. If you are in this situation, you may be concerned about whether or not you have time to change a major. Many students make decisions to stay in majors they do not like because they feel it is “too late.” While this can be true in some cases, the best strategy is to ask about your options rather than make assumptions. Even if the major you have in mind is not an option, academic advisers may be able to help you identify an option closer to the pathway you are now interested in.

If you know which major you would like to change into, first meet with your intended Undergraduate Major Adviser to see if it is an option. Often, this adviser will also be able to help you identify alternatives if their major is not possible. They may provide you with a program plan and then suggest seeing an L&S College Adviser to discuss whether you have time to complete it within the unit ceiling or semester limit.

If you do not know which major you would like to change into, check out the page.

If I change my major, can I change it back?

Once you change away from a particular major, you cannot change it back to that same major. For example, if you are declared Political Science and change to Legal Studies, you cannot then change your major back to Political Science.

You can change your major multiple times to different majors. For example, if you are declared Political Science and change to Legal Studies, you could then apply to change your major to Global Studies.

Declare or Change a Major (2024)

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