Undergraduate Bulletin

Spring 2024

Which Major and Minor Requirements Apply to Me?

Students are required to declare a major upon completing 45 credits, including transfer and AP credits; they are encouraged to do so earlier. New transfer students who matriculate as sophomores, juniors, or seniors must declare a major during their first semester at Stony Brook.  To achieve clarity for faculty, students, and staff as students progress through their undergraduate career, this policy addresses a common student question: Which major and minor requirements apply to me?

Students will be responsible for fulfilling the major and minor requirements as published in the official undergraduate Bulletin for the semester and year in which the student declares the major or minor.  This semester and year is referred to as the 'requirement term' corresponding to the requirements needed for the major or minor and is noted on the student record.  See Selecting an Academic Program and About Academic Policies in this Bulletin.

Students may declare most majors upon application to the University or during their undergraduate studies.  Students who declare a major at the point of application must consult with the department or program director during their first semester of matriculation.  Students who declare or change a major or minor once enrolled at the University must confer with the department or program director to obtain a signature on the major/minor declaration form.  Note that some majors are restricted; see restricted majors in this Bulletin. An area of interest (AOI) is not considered a declared major.

A student may have one particular requirement term (i.e., the semester and year) noted on the student record for a first major or minor, and a different requirement term noted on the student record for a second major or minor, depending on when the student declared each.

Students who return after taking time off may be assigned a new matriculation date depending on the length of absence and the degree program.  In this case, students will be responsible for the academic requirements in effect at the time of their return , including but not limited to major and minor requirements and University degree requirements.  See Taking Time Off in this Bulletin.

Special circumstances may provide justification for a student to change a program requirement term to a semester and year other than those defined above (for example, if a student has been pursuing a major or minor in practice, but has not yet declared the major or minor; or if the requirements of a major or minor change and the student proposes to follow the new requirements). Students requesting a change in their requirement term must receive documented approval from the department or program director. The details of an approved exception or modification must be transmitted by the academic department to the Registrar.  

Where course offerings have changed so that the required courses that would apply to particular students are no longer in the curriculum, the department will designate comparable alternatives to enable such students to complete the major without delaying their graduation.

Students seeking substitutions or modifications of specific major or minor requirements must receive approval from the undergraduate program director.