Declaring Majors

Unless otherwise specified by the department, the deadline for declaring a major is Spring Quarter of the third year, although students are urged to decide upon a major by the end of second year, which will allow for improved planning for study abroad opportunities, preparation for graduate or professional school, or competing for internships or fellowships.

To officially declare a major students need to:

  • Check, well in advance, with the academic department for suggested or required deadlines (certain majors require a separate application).
  • Log onto the student portal (my.uchicago.edu)
  • Notify their College adviser.

Declaring More than One Major

Students may also decide to declare more than one major. There are both positive and negative aspects to pursuing more than one major. Additional majors can allow students to pursue multiple intellectual interests and may productively complement one another. And having a broader field of “expertise” may open additional post-graduate opportunities.

There are, however, downsides to having more than one major. Students with more than one major may not be as “deep” in their field as a more focused student, and the increased rigidity of the degree plan may not allow for study abroad or exploratory elective courses. Employers or graduate schools do not necessarily view two majors as better than one, and no number of majors will make up for mediocre grades.

There are many procedural factors to consider as well. When declaring multiple majors, student select a “primary” major; while all majors do appear on the official transcripts, only the primary major will appear on the diploma. Students who wish to pursue more than one major must also consider the prospect of the BA thesis or “senior seminars.” If both majors require a BA thesis, students should consult the College Catalog to determine if a single project can be used to satisfy the requirements of both departments. As well, if both majors require participation in a seminar, students should work with a College Adviser to determine if it will be possible to schedule both courses without conflict.