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Switching majors made easy

Declare Your Major Day was held on Feb. 17 in the University Center's Living Room, where 202 students changed or declared their major. The event is held annually in February to allow students a "one stop shop" for their new major or minor.

This year 140 students either declared a major in Arts and Sciences or switched into that school.

This is slightly up from last year's 135 according to Christopher Kaiser, associate dean of arts and sciences.

Although the number of students who declared in the College of Arts and Sciences was up this year, the overall number of students changing dropped majors.

"Even though we didn't meet last year's number of 219, I still view it as a success," Freshman Studies Graduate Assistant Christopher Ostros said. This year 202 students were involved in the day out of the 519 students at the university who were undeclared.

"We try to schedule it on Ash Wednesday after the main Mass, sometime in the afternoon," Ostros said. Ostros has organized the event for the last two years, which was originally created by Associate Provost and Dean of Freshmen Studies Tracy Gottlieb.

The Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations had five students declare, Education and Nursing had 15 and 13 respectively and the Stillman School of Business had an influx of 29 students.

These numbers vary a bit from the previous year's in which one student declared Diplomacy, 10 declared Education, 22 switched or declared a Nursing major and 43 students joined the ranks of the Business school.
According to Ostros there were few differences between last year's Declare Your Major Day and this year's.

Changes included moving the event to the Living Room and holding it for three hours in the afternoon.

"The only big difference this year was that all the different departments of Arts and Sciences were represented," Ostros said. "Before, the dean had to handle everything."

"The striking news is that, on average, about 50 percent (of students) change their major three times nationally," Kaiser said.

According to Kaiser, having representatives of each department allows the day to switch from Declare Your Major Day to "Explore and Declare Your Major Day."

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Along with the College of Arts and Sciences, the other schools on campus experienced students declaring into their programs as well.

"When students come in they are directed to the table for the department they want to switch or declare their major in and the professor looks up their information to make sure the student meets are the prerequisites," Ostros said. "If they meet all the requirements they can fill out the paperwork and then I bring all the curriculum adjustment forms over to the registrar where they are processed."

Although Ostros will not be in charge of the program next year he is working on making the event even better.

"We are definitely going to incorporate some input from the chairs and deans in order to see how we can make it better and reach a higher percentage of the 500 students who need to declare," Ostros said.

Jenna Berg can be reached at


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