Declaring a Major

A newspaper display in a Yale library.

First-year students and declaring a major First-year students are not expected to declare a major during their first year on campus.  A few may do so in their second term— particularly students intending to major in a STEM field — but doing so isn’t required or expected, even for potential STEM majors.  

Advising for students who declare a major Once a student declares a major, the DUS or the DUS’s designee becomes the student’s official adviser, replacing the student’s college adviser, since an undergraduate student may have only one adviser at a time. Students are especially encouraged to take this into consideration before declaring a major.

Expectations 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, please talk with 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. To do so, click on the Petition to Complete the Requirements of Two Majors, available on the University Registrar’s Forms & Petitions webpage.  

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