2023-2024 Edition

Academic Catalog


To satisfy the major requirement, a bachelor of arts student must complete a departmental major, an interdepartmental major, or a collegiate program (College of East Asian Studies, College of Education Studies, College of Integrative SciencesCollege of Letters or College of Social Studies). A bachelor of liberal studies student must complete a standard concentration or approved self-designed concentration. A student will graduate if the requirements of one major are fulfilled in conjunction with the completion of other degree requirements.

Students may apply for a major any time after the drop/add period in the semester in which they have reached second semester sophomore standing. However, application for admission to the College of East Asian Studies, the College of Letters or the College of Social Studies should be submitted by first-year students during their second semester. Eligibility requirements are set by the department, program, or college, which may deny access or the privilege of continuation to any student whose performance is unsatisfactory. Students who have not been accepted into a major by the beginning of their junior year have a hold placed on their enrollment. Students may not declare more than a combined total of three majors, certificates, and minors.

Departmental Major Programs

The departmental major is an integrated program of advanced study approved by the major department. It consists of a minimum of eight course credits numbered 201 or higher. No more than four course credits in the departmental major may be elected from other than the major department. Please see Graduation Requirements for the number of credits that may be counted toward the bachelor of arts degree and oversubscription.

Comprehensive Examination

In those departments in which a comprehensive examination is required, passing the examination is a condition of graduation. The major departments determine the nature and scope of the examinations, the amount of supervision to be given to the student in preparation for them, and the time and place of their administration. Both oral and written examinations may be required.

A student who passes the comprehensive examination with a grade deemed creditable by the major department may be excused by the department from the final examination of the last semester in any course in that department and in any other departmental course included in the major program. The student may substitute the grade attained in the comprehensive examination for the final examination grade in each of the designated courses. In all such cases, permission of the course instructor is required to substitute the final examination grade.

If a student fails to qualify for the degree in the senior year solely through failure to attain a satisfactory grade in the comprehensive examination but has satisfied all other requirements for graduation, the student may be permitted to take a second comprehensive examination.

Interdepartmental Major Programs

The University offers two kinds of interdepartmental majors:

  • Interdepartmental majors. These are archaeological studies; environmental studies; feminist, gender, and sexuality studies; Latin American studies; medieval studies; Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies; and science in society. The list may change from time to time.
  • University majors. A student may propose a university major program involving two or more departments, provided that an ad hoc group of at least three members of the faculty approves and supervises the program. Students contemplating a university major should be accepted for admission to a regular departmental major, since the proposal for a university major must be approved by the Committee on University Majors. Deadlines for application are November 1 for the fall semester and April 1 for the spring semester. Additional information about the application procedure may be obtained from the Office of the Deans.

All interdepartmental major programs, like departmental major programs, must include at least eight course credits numbered 201 or higher. Other conditions, including additional courses, may be imposed.

Collegiate Programs

In the spring of the first year, an undergraduate may apply for admission to the College of Letters, the College of Social Studies, or the College of East Asian Studies. All of these programs offer an organized course of study continuing through the sophomore, junior, and senior years that leads to the degree of bachelor of arts.