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How to Change Your Major at Texas A&M

Published on 9/21/2021 9:27:52 AM
By Sydnie Harrell, Office of Undergraduate Studies at Texas A&M University

It is not uncommon for undergraduates to change their major; some students switch their major two or three times before finding the one that is right for them. Often, students choose the “wrong major” because they consider extrinsic motivators, like money, people-pleasing, or lack of self-awareness. It’s important to understand that college is a time to learn about yourself in addition to deciding what to study. If you are an undergraduate interested in changing your major, you may find the process confusing. This guide provides all the information needed to get the job done.
Prior to following the steps to submit a request for a change of curriculum (aka a change of major), research the prospective major as well as your current major. The goal is to gain a general understanding of how each major you are considering will affect your time to graduation and career goals. You can get help with this by meeting with your academic advisor, with a Transitions Academic Programs (TAP) advisor, and/or with the Career Center to get a better understanding of how each major may help you reach your goals.
“Research [your prospective major], and make sure you really understand what the major is about and what the major you’re currently in can do for you,” TAP Academic Advisor Brittany Hensley said. “We want to make sure students are aware that the major [they’re] in can [help them reach their career goals].” 
If you still want to change your major after researching, complete the following steps. 
  1. Talk to your current advisor 
Meet with your current advisor for the major you are currently in and inform them of your intent to change your major (If you don't know who your current advisor is, you can search on the Office for Student Success website). You can ask them to review your degree plan with you, discuss requirements for your desired major, and understand the timeline of changing your curriculum. They can help guide you by explaining the process of changing your major as well as things you should consider. If your intended major is in the same department and college that you are currently in, refer to step three as a guide for this meeting.  
  1. Review change of major requirements 
Each college and department has different policies and requirements set for applicants intending to change their major; these may be the maximum number of hours allowed, GPA requirements, and/or prerequisite courses. To be considered for acceptance into your intended major, all conditions set forth by the department must be met. Find the change of major requirements for each major here.
  1. Talk to an advisor in your prospective major 
Whether you meet all the change of major requirements for your prospective major or not, it’s important to meet with an advisor in your planned major to discuss your intended transfer. In this meeting, you can learn a lot: what to do if you don’t meet requirements; if there is flexibility with requirements; if certain courses you’ve taken may be equivalent to prerequisites set by the college; and if there are any mandatory meetings/additional steps that should be completed. 
You can schedule an appointment using Navigate or attend drop-in hours. Preceding this meeting, prepare questions. Here are some examples: 
  • Can I apply to switch my major during the semester I am completing course requirements, or do I need to wait until I finish the semester? 
  • What change of major deadlines particular to your college should I be aware of? 
  • Are there any additional steps I need to take before submitting my change of curriculum form? 
  1. Decide if you need to switch to General Studies 
You should consider switching to General Studies when you realize you no longer want to pursue your current major and cannot go directly to your desired major. Before applying to General Studies, talk to a TAP advisor to ensure you can meet the requirements to be accepted into the prospective major within the two-semester limit.  
General Studies can be beneficial because it allows you to take required coursework set by the major’s department. Additionally, if you receive financial aid, General Studies can allow you to take courses for your desired major without being penalized for not following your previous major’s degree plan. The application for General Studies is open throughout most of the semester; if approved, you must also plan to attend a mandatory TAP transition meeting. 
  1. Submit the change of curriculum in Howdy before the deadline 
According to Student Rule 5.1, “undergraduate students who have completed at least one term of full admission and enrollment” can change their curriculum 10 days after final grades have been posted; the deadline to submit the change of curriculum is the 20th class day of the current semester according to the academic calendar. 
On Howdy, select the dropdown arrow on the “My Record” tab. Select “Change of Major Requests.” Next, select “Submit or View Change Request” and “New Request.” From there, select your college location and intended major. Then, fill out the application to change your major. Some departments require an essay; be sure to give yourself adequate time to write it. Once you complete the form, double-check that all the information you entered is correct, provide the last four digits of your UIN, and submit it. 
A step-by-step video tutorial that shows how to change your major in Howdy is available on YouTube.
“If you are even feeling remotely unsatisfied with your current major, start asking yourself ‘Is this really what I want?’ and research,” Hensley said. “Come talk to TAP, reach out to the Career Center, and really start exploring because if you are going to need to change your major, the sooner, the better.” 
Find more information about changing your major on our website as well as answers to some frequently asked questions.