Declaring a Major

A newspaper display in a Yale library.

It’s not expected that first-year students declare a major during their first year on campus.  A few may do so — particularly students intending to major in a STEM field — but please note that isn’t required or expected, even for potential STEM majors.  

What follows below are expectations for students intending to major in STEM and non-STEM fields, instructions on how to declare a major, and other useful information.

If you are majoring in mathematics, a science or in engineering

You are expected to declare your major during sophomore year, preferably in the fall term.

If you are majoring in most other subjects

You must declare your major no later than the start of your junior year. At that time the DUS of your major, or a designated departmental representative, becomes your faculty adviser and the person who signs your course schedules in junior and senior years.

two majors (double major)

If you plan to complete the requirements of two majors, you need to talk to your residential college dean. Note that each major must be completed independently of the other, with no more than two term courses overlapping. You must petition the Committee on Honors and Academic Standing (CHAS) to be allowed to complete two majors. Petitions to complete two majors are available only in hard copy in the offices of the residential college deans. Your petition requires the approval and the signature of the DUS in each major. It is not possible to declare a second major on line.

How to declare a major

Students declare a major by 1) logging onto the SIS (Student Information Systems) site, 2) clicking the Academic Information menu item, and 3) clicking “Declare a Major/Degree - Yale College Only”.

how to Change a major

Follow the procedures above and insert your new major.

majors and programs that require an application, review, or audition.

Some majors have an approval process.  Read about those processes here