Major/Minor Course Planning
Declare/Change Major or Minor
To declare a major or minor, you may schedule an appointment with an advisor or stop in during our drop-in hours. Your advisor will help you determine if it is feasible for you to complete your chosen major/minor within the eight-semester limit. Once you have decided, you and your advisor will complete a major/minor declaration form.
You are required to declare a major by the second semester of your sophomore year. If you have not declared a major by the pre-registration period for that semester, you will not be able to register for the following term until you have declared a major. See the undergraduate catalog for a list of majors and minors.
Note: Once a student obtains 60 credit hours, they may not declare a “pre-professional major.” Entrance to those majors is by application and acceptance only.
If you choose, you may declare up to three areas of study. This could be two majors and a minor, or one major and two minors. See an advisor to determine which combination of majors and minors works best for you.
You may declare a major in a professional school (e.g. Business, Journalism, Nursing) if you have fewer than 60 hours of course credit. This is referred to as “pre-declaration.” To gain actual admission to professional school programs, you must meet the minimum requirements (including taking pre-requisite coursework) and complete an application process. Pre-declaration does not imply acceptance, and it does not give you an advantage in the application and admission process. For more information about preparing for and applying to professional schools, visit the Prepare for Professional School page and speak with an advisor for guidance.
Many students arrive at UNC uncertain of which major(s) to pursue. While you must declare a primary major by the second semester of your sophomore year, you should not be afraid to explore the many options offered at UNC. Try doing the following:
- Talk to an academic advisor when contemplating your options.
- Take a look at the catalog to find majors that interest you. Pay attention to the introductory sections, and course descriptions. It is important to pay particular attention to upper-level courses to see if they interest you.
- Talk with faculty or the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the departments you’re interested in.
- Take an introductory level, pre-requisite, or exploratory course for the major.
- Visit University Career Services to explore majors, and careers and check out their services for pre-professional and pre-graduate school.
- Use our Choosing a Major Checklist.
It is not uncommon for students to declare a major early on, only to discover different options as they encounter new courses and experiences. Don’t be afraid to explore other paths if your interests change. Visit an academic advisor to talk through your options for finding a better fit.
Information About Majors and Minors
Prepare for Professional Schools
If you are planning to apply to a professional school, it is important to have at least one alternate major in mind that does not require admission. An appointment with an academic advisor is a good place to start to identify alternate majors that might align well with your interests and personal/professional goals.
Remember some of the professional schools have multiple possible enrollment dates. Many professional schools also offer graduate degrees, so if your goal of entering the professional school as an undergraduate is not possible, consider applying for a graduate-level program.
Track Your Degree Progress
The Tar Heel Tracker is a degree-planning tool that tracks requirements that have been fulfilled and that are yet to be fulfilled. To learn more about how to use Tar Heel Tracker, check out the registrar’s website for helpful how to’s!
Tar Heel Tracker can be used as a guide to ensure you are working to complete all requirements needed to graduate. However, you should also consult with an academic advisor to ensure you are on the right track and not missing any requirements.
A great way to view the Tracker is through the “View Summary Report” button. Once you pull your tracker from your student center, click this button and a new PDF will be generated. This is a clean 2-4 page document that will allow you to see the requirements you have met and still need to meet. Again, this is not a tool to verify requirements but a helpful tool in planning.
If you believe your Tar Heel Tracker is picking up a wrong requirement or not picking a class up, you should stop in at Advising to check-in. From there, we will direct you to the appropriate person to have an adjustment made.
If you were given permission from someone in your department to have a course counted for a particular requirement, a Tar Heel Tracker adjustment is needed. You will want to follow up with the person that gave you permission to have the course counted first. Your department will make an adjustment to show the course as satisfying a particular requirement.