Major and Minor Declaration Process

When to declare your major:

All students are expected to declare their major within their first year.

  • Fall-admitted students can declare beginning November 1; deadline to declare is March 31.
  • Spring-admitted students can declare beginning April 1; deadline to declare is October 31.

How to declare:

  1. Download and complete the major declaration form. A separate form must be completed for each major you declare.
  2. Contact the academic representative in your intended major for their signature and assignment of a major advisor. Some departments will do this over email, while others may require a meeting. This is also a great opportunity for you to ask any remaining questions about the program.
  3. Once completed, return the form to Undergraduate Advising Support.  You can send the form as an attached PDF to or drop it off in-person in Sears 340. Students should see their major updated in SIS in approximately 3 business days, but it can sometimes take a few extra days during high volume periods.

Please note that students who enter CWRU as a Nursing student upon admission do NOT need to submit a major declaration form, as they are admitted directly into the Nursing program. Students who have an interest in switching to the Nursing program should contact their four-year advisor immediately to discuss options. 

Review the General Bulletin for a full list of programs, as well as more information on majors, double majors, secondary majors, and dual degrees.

Declaring a minor:

The process for declaring a minor is the same as the major declaration process. A separate minor declaration form must be completed for each minor declared. Students cannot declare a minor until they declare a major.

Changing a major or a minor:

A student who wishes to drop a major or minor should complete part I of the appropriate major or minor declaration form, but does not need to obtain a signature from the academic representative.

Other changes do require an academic representative signature, such as changing a major to a minor, changing the degree type (e.g. BS to BA, or dual degree to secondary major), and changing a concentration within the major.

Frequently Asked Questions:

When you declare, you will be assigned a major advisor from the department. Declaring sooner gives you more time to connect with your new advisor and begin building your advising relationship with an expert in the field.

Your pre-major advisor will automatically change in SIS to a “Designated Advisor” - this means they still have access to your record in SIS and can continue to serve as a faculty mentor to you, however they will no longer be able to release your registration advising hold. You can add or remove Designated Advisors as you wish.

Your four-year advisor will stay the same.

Email your new major advisor to schedule your first meeting. During your meetings, you can clarify major requirements, plan out options for when to complete those requirements, and discuss both your short- and long-term goals for your academic experience at CWRU.  They will also be the person to release your registration advising hold each semester so that you can register for courses once your enrollment appointment opens. 

Review your degree requirements. Information regarding academic requirements is available through SIS. The Academic Requirements Report will keep you on track with degree requirements and it will be major-specific once you have declared your major.

If you are looking for a place to start, it can be helpful to review a list of the many majors and minors offered at CWRU. It’s a good idea to meet with your four-year advisor and/or pre-major advisor to help you narrow down your options.  

Additionally, first year students are encouraged to attend the annual Choices Fair, which takes place in the Fall semester.  Faculty representatives from every academic department will be on hand to offer information and answer questions.

Once you have your options narrowed down, there are many people who can help you learn more about your programs of interest:

  • Contact the academic representative to ask for more information directly from the source. 
  • Talk to your professors in classes that interest you most.
  • Connect with your peers that are in the programs that interest you - you can ask your RA, orientation leader, or others about their experience in a department, faculty and coursework.

Also don’t worry about changing your mind - as you take more classes and explore opportunities on campus, you will have the option to change your major, declare a second major or add a minor. Note that you need to declare a major before adding any minors or secondary majors.