Declare/Change Major/Minor

Form: Request to Declare or Change a Major and Add or Drop a Minor

Declaring a Major

A major is the academic discipline, such as business or environmental science, to which an undergraduate student formally commits. Successful completion of the courses prescribed in an academic major, general education requirements and elective courses for a minimum of 180 credits qualifies a student to apply for an undergraduate degree.

You can find the admission and graduation requirements for every major the UW Tacoma in the appropriate academic section of this catalog. The process for declaring a major varies depending on the major chosen. Once the major is finalized a change of major form or notification by academic program is made to the Office of the Registrar.

Students are encouraged to declare or change a major as soon as possible. Failure to declare a major before a student has accumulated 105 credits will result in a hold being placed on his/her registration. Students who haven’t yet decided on a major and need guidance can consult their academic advisor for assistance.

Changing a Major

Students can change their majors at any time using the same process as declaring a major. Students should meet with their advisor first.

Double Major or Double Degree

Students may complete the requirements of two majors as either a double major or a double degree.

  • Students who complete the requirements of two majors and accumulate a minimum of 180 credits will be awarded one bachelor’s degree with two majors, called a “double major.”
  • Students who complete the requirements of two different degrees and accumulate 225 credits (180 + 45) will be awarded two bachelor’s degrees, called a “double degree.” The student will receive two diplomas.
  • If the two degrees are offered by different schools (i.e., the Milgard School of Business and IAS) or if one of the majors is a B.A. and the other is a B.S, the student must complete a double degree.

Degrees with two majors

The student’s application for a baccalaureate degree with two majors must show both majors and be approved by the advisors of each programs. Requirements of both majors must be met and each major will appear on the transcript.

A second baccalaureate degree may be granted, upon readmission, but a student must earn a minimum of 45 credits beyond the number required for the first degree. These credits must be earned in residence. The student must achieve no less than a 2.0 cumulative grade point average in the credits required for the second degree.

Students completing a second baccalaureate degree are not registered in the Graduate School, but in the academic division of the university with jurisdiction over the degree sought.

Two baccalaureate degrees concurrently

Students who complete 225 credits and complete the requirements of two majors will be awarded two bachelor’s degrees only if the actual degree is different. For example: A student with a major in psychology and a major in social welfare will receive one Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major. A student with a major in psychology and a major in finance will receive a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration because the two degrees are different. 

Declaring a Minor

A minor is an optional program of study (usually 25 to 35 credits) built around a particular subject or discipline. Minors can be helpful by allowing students to focus their degree by choosing a minor related to their major or to broaden their degree by taking an unrelated but complementary minor). The minor will also appear on the student’s transcript.

Students in a major with at least 45 credits can declare a minor by completing and submitting an add or drop a minor form to their advisor. Minors do not have prerequisites and do not require any additional application materials.

Students are eligible to complete as many as three minors while earning their first undergraduate degree.

More information on minors available at UW Tacoma can be found beginning on page 147.

Completion of a Minor

A minor must be awarded at the same time the student’s first bachelor’s degree is awarded. This means:

  • A student who doesn’t graduate cannot be awarded a minor.
  • A student cannot earn a minor after graduation.