Changing a Major and Maneuvering Add/Drop Registration

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One of the most stressful events for incoming and returning students is deciding whether to change their major. Naturally, parents want their students to find the "right path" and move forward in a productive manner. For students, this process is often filled with anxiety and doubt. Our main piece of advice for students and parents is "don't panic!" There is a process in place that students can follow for a successful outcome. However, it is important to note that, due to timing, there are key differences for freshman and continuing students. 

If your freshman suddenly decides to change majors right when school starts, our recommendation is to wait. The course work for the first semester is general enough (and fulfills requirements for all majors) that there is no real reason to start changing classes at this time. Moreover, it is very likely your student does not yet know enough about the other majors available. This is where our freshman seminar, GT1000, can provide guidance for your student. In GT1000, students have the opportunity to learn about a major of interest as well as other major options.

If your student is a continuing student and has decided to change majors, they should act on it before school starts. If they know which major they want to pursue, contact the advisor well before the term starts ( In addition to the paperwork, it is important to attend the right classes from the very start of the term. However, if they are really undecided and just know they want out of their current major, your student should first go see one of the undecided advisors ( The advisor will help determine what major is the best fit.

In addition to changing majors, quite a bit of confusion and frenzy surrounds the Add/Drop (known as phase II registration) period of registration. Phase II registration for fall 2012 begins Saturday, August 11, and ends Friday, August 24. During this time, students can add and drop courses. After August 24, a student’s schedule is final and no classes can be added. A student may withdraw from a class, but a "W" will appear on the transcript, and those hours may count against financial aid.

There are a few "rules" to follow for phase II registration.

1. No matter what, students should attend all the classes they think they might take. This investment amounts to a few extra hours versus starting a week behind!

2. Students should know what they want to take prior to phase II registration. If your student doesn't know, they should talk to an advisor first. Remember, classes are in session during Phase II, and your student can fall behind in classes while trying to make decisions. 

3. There are always exceptions in life. If your student is confused about their academic path, recommend that your student see an advisor for guidance.

If you or your student has questions about academic advising, visit the Academic Advising website for resources and contact information.


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Rachael Pocklington
  • Created:08/07/2012
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016


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