Choosing a Major


How do I choose a major connected to my interests?

  • Read the summaries of majors in the Principia catalog, section 2 – Academic Programs to see where there might be a fit. 

  • For those that interest you…check out the course descriptions in section 3: Courses of Instruction. 

  • Know which major helps develop and strengthen the skills that connect your educational choices with types of work you may enter.


What can i do with THIS major?  

Click on this logo to learn about the typical career areas and the types of employers that hire people with each major, as well as strategies to make you a more marketable candidate. Continue your research using the websites provided.



When do I declare a major?

As a first-year student you may declare a major any time after your first term begins.

As a second-year student, if you have not already declared a major, you will be sent a “Change of Major/Minor/Advisor/ Degree” form.  At this time you can declare a major and a new advisor of your choice within the department, or instead you might choose to declare an exploratory focus ("undeclared") and be advised by an Academic and Career Advising staff member.  If you wish to retain your original new student advisor while remaining “undeclared” this can usually be arranged.

By the end of your second year, you are expected to declare a major.  Declaring a minor is optional.  The catalog for the academic year in which you declare your major contains the requirements related to your major.  If you take courses toward a major but wait to declare your major, you may find the courses you have taken will no longer meet the current requirements.

For more information see the Principia Catalog, section 2: Academic Programs


How do I find an advisor in my proposed major department?

  • Take introductory courses in the major from a variety of faculty members. 

  • Introduce yourself, if you haven’t had the opportunity to get to know all of the members of a department yet. 

  • Make an appointment to talk further with faculty about your interests and ask them about their areas of expertise…you might want to ask about potential related internships, Abroads, or other experiential opportunities.

  • Students with more than one major will have an advisor for each major. 


How to declare, change, or drop a major and/or a minor?

You can pick up the “Change of Major/Minor/Advisor/Degree” form at the Registrar's office or at ACA.  You must have your current academic advisor sign it, as well as the new advisor in your major area of study.  Turn in completed form to the Registrar’s office.

You can declare a minor any time (some minors require an advisor).  If an advisor is required, you must take the responsibility for finding one (check the Principia College Catalog for more information).


Declaring more than one major?

You may declare more than one major.  However, this means you will have an academic advisor in each major area and will need to be advised by both advisors.  You are also responsible to meet all writing requirements for both majors (ask your advisors in each major and the Writing Center for details).


What about a special major?

Yes, if you'd like the Principia experience while completing a one-of-a-kind major tailored to your interests, it requires more independent initiative.  It may be worth that extra effort!  A special major:

  • Has at least 50% of its courses taught on the Principia campus.
  • Allows speciality courses to be applied to your major from other colleges or universities.
  • Is designed in conjunction with the ACA special major coordinator and a faculty sponsor.
  • Must be approved by a Special Major Advisory Committee

Examples of recent special majors include aviation education and management, family studies, and range management.


Questions?  Ask ACA

Each student must declare and complete a major in order to graduate. When you declare a major you meet the requirements for that major under that year’s catalog. This is important because if a department makes changes in the major requirements, you will then have the option of choosing the old or new requirements. If you take courses toward a major and wait to declare, you may find the courses you have taken will no longer meet the current requirements.

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