For all SFS sophomores, the major declaration period begins at the end of the Add-Drop period in September and ends on the Friday before Spring Break. Major declaration must be completed in its entirety by no later than this Friday. If a student is applying for overseas study, major declaration has to be completed before initiating study abroad application, since a meaningful application for junior year abroad cannot be constructed without having declared a major. Note that some study abroad deadlines are during the fall of sophomore year. There are several steps in the major declaration process and students cannot complete them in a day or two. Students need to plan ahead in order to make sure that they meet the deadline. Students who fail to declare a major by the Friday prior to spring break are not allowed to register for fall courses.
General Declaration Procedures
- Students must complete a major declaration form indicating which core courses have been completed. If possible, students should indicate when they hope to fulfill outstanding requirements. This form is submitted with the final essay to the curricular dean responsible for the major. International History majors must also complete the IHIS study plan.
- Students also must write a short essay that outlines the intellectual project they hope to pursue in the context of their major. Students should identify the themes and questions they wish to explore and discuss their plans for doing so. Students preparing for study abroad should include their rationale for the location and course of study they wish to undertake. Most major declaration essays are 250-500 words, but they may be longer. Students should consult with faculty members and curricular deans when writing this essay.
- Once students complete the steps outlined above, they must make an appointment for a sophomore review with the curricular dean responsible for their major. The purpose of the sophomore review is to assess progress toward graduation and make students aware of remaining requirements and opportunities. During the meeting, the curricular dean reviews the major declaration materials and addresses any questions that students may have.
- Students intending to pursue the RCST major should review the specific declaration instructions.
Click on the links below to read detailed information for each undergraduate major:
Culture and Politics
International Political Economy
Regional and Comparative Studies
Science, Technology, and International Affairs
Additional information on majors:
Click here to view tips on writing major declaration essays.
Click here for instructions on requesting major course substitutions.