Choosing and Declaring a Major
Completing at least one major is a requirement for a Queens College bachelor’s degree and is one of the most important decisions in your life. The Academic Advising Center assists undeclared and undecided students in a number of different ways, which include individual advising sessions, decision-making exercises in the First-Year Planning Programs, and through the Sophomore Initiative Program. Additionally, the Academic Advising Center sponsors the college’s Major/Minor Information Fair, which brings together academic departments, honors programs, and support services to help undeclared/undecided students explore and choose majors and minors.
When should you declare a major?
It is strongly advised that students declare a major(s) ideally before, but no later than, the end of the sophomore year, which is around completion of the 60th credit, to ensure timely completion of the QC bachelor’s degree. Majors at Queens College range from 30 to 80 credits.
Special note: Financial aid requires that students declare their majors by the completion of the 60th credit. In addition, registered coursework must be applicable to specific QC degree requirements, which include the general education curriculum and major (minors, while optional, are also covered as are electives if they are needed to reach the 120 credits). Students who do not comply may lose their financial support. Please see an academic advisor should you have any questions about this issue or require further explanation.
How do you declare a major?
Declaration/change/addition of most* majors/minors/concentrations is now done using the following form
*The following majors require an application and/or have entrance requirements and/or other processes: Biochemistry; Business Administration (BBA majors include Actuarial Studies, Corporate Finance, and International Business); Chemistry; Design; Communication Sciences & Disorders; Elementary Education/Professional Sequence; Music; Neuroscience; Secondary Education; and Studio Art-BFA. There are also minors that require application/entrance criteria. The Economics Department requests that students interested in Economics also file through its departmental website. The Accounting Department has additional steps to declare. Please see Department representatives for further information and proper procedures.
By declaring a major, you will:
- Be able to meet with a faculty advisor and become eligible for other departmental services, including (if applicable) pre-registration for courses, as well as departmental events. You will also receive mailings, emails, and important information directly from the department(s).
- Become aware of the requirements for a major early in the baccalaureate process, thus allowing you more time to smoothly fulfill (often sequential!) requirements.
- Protect yourself against any future changes in major requirements.
Once you have declared a major, it is important to meet regularly with a faculty advisor. You are responsible for becoming familiar with the requirements of your major and the expectations and responsibilities for completing it.
Where can you locate information about major requirements?
- The Queens College Undergraduate Bulletin (PDF online) lists all the departments in alphabetical order, the requirements for each major, and the descriptions of all courses offered.
- Many departments publish extensive departmental handbooks and/or have websites that provide detailed information about majors, career opportunities, faculty research, and special/honors programs.
- Faculty members are wonderful resources. They can give you insight into their disciplines and advice based on personal experiences and expertise. Contact departments to find out about office hours and areas of interest and research. DON’T BE SHY ABOUT YOUR EDUCATION. Make an appointment to visit with a faculty member!
- The Center for Career Engagement and Internships (Frese Hall 213, (718) 997-4465) offers many services designed to help you connect your interests, abilities, goals, and realities to major selection and internship opportunities. You can also use a self-guided, computerized, assessment tool to clarify your interests and values and relate them to majors and careers.
- The Academic Advising Center staff (Kiely 217, (718) 997-5599) is available to discuss how the college’s majors fit into your overall college curriculum and degree progress. The center and its website have many publications and guides that may assist you in this process.