Advising Masthead

Declaring a Major

FAQ for Declaring a Major

When should I declare a major?
University policy requires that students officially declare a major no later than the completion of 54 credit hours (junior standing).  Acceptance into a major may vary by department, school or college – some majors are subject to additional admission requirements.  Students receiving Federal and/or State financial aid awards or other scholarships may have requirements for declaring a major earlier.  Consult with Washburn’s Financial Aid Office if you have questions.

What if I don't know what my major will be?
Don't panic.  Some students choose their majors at the start of their college careers. Others begin college knowing that they do not know.  As you think about choosing your major, consider your interests and abilities first.  Don't select a major because a friend does, or because your parents suggest it.  If you need assistance with your decision, you can seek guidance in any of the Academic Departments, an advisor in the Academic Advising Office, or a career counselor in the Office of Career Services.

Must I have a major?
Yes. The key component of a college degree is the major, a concentration of courses in a particular subject area.  A major gives you depth of knowledge and competencies in an academic area of particular interest to you and prepares you directly or indirectly for graduate school and/or your future career.

Does my major determine my future career?
Not necessarily. Taking courses in a major and training for a job can be different. Some majors are vocationally specific: education and nursing are good examples of such fields. However, other majors are not, and many employers want graduates with transferable skills, regardless of their majors. Therefore, it is wise to consider your possible career interests, but it is not always necessary to be specialized to find an interesting and challenging career.

Can a department or program refuse to accept me?
Yes.  A major may require a minimum grade-point average (GPA), or certain pre-requisite courses, or a certain number of credit hours completed.  Students who do not meet these requires may not be accepted into that major, may be dismissed from that major, or may not be certified for graduation with that major.

Should I change my major?
As you learn more about your preferences and abilities, you may decide to change your major.  A change in major may require you to adjust your graduation schedule.  You should discuss your degree progress with your current or new academic advisor before making any changes.


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