Attention sophomores: Have you declared your major yet?
UR students declare their major during their sophomore year. Before declaration, sophomores are required to have a tentative course plan, which details the classes they will take to complete their major and the University curriculum.
On Wednesday April 19, the Sophomore Class Committee held the Sophomore Major Declaration Day in Hirst Lounge. Sophomores had the opportunity to bond with friends and talk to advisors from College Center for Advising Services (CCAS) about opportunities and major declaration advice. Free giveaways, photo opportunities, and snacks were also provided.
However, behind the big celebration, there have been ongoing issues with the Academic Progress Tool in UR Student. The tool, which tracks students’ completion of their required courses, also informs the registrar of students’ graduation candidacy.
Students have faced difficulty with completing their majors, as the tool doesn’t always reflect the most up-to-date information regarding students’ majors, minors, and clusters.
In spite of the issue with the Academic Progress Tool, the majority of the students found the declaration process easy and straightforward.
“[The process] was very clear cut for me,” said sophomore Gautam Bajaj. “I knew I wanted to be a Political Science major.” Bajaj also cited that his friends, who are also Political Science majors, helped him with the declaration process.
When asked about resources for major declaration, sophomore Libby Braun said that her college advisor has been helpful.
“I first emailed my advisor to just get a scope of what I was supposed to do, and they sent over the resources,” said Braun, a Digital Media Studies major, “My advisor sent over the web page link. It’s a page they have on [the] University of Rochester [website]. It has exactly the lists [of what to do] and the details step by step.”
One sophomore is still waiting to hear back regarding their major declaration.
“Originally, I was a [biochemistry] major,” said sophomore Ani Goorha, who is now a Microbiology and Brain and Cognitive Sciences (BCS) double major, “It was difficult to change because I had to work out all my classes after I’d already talked to the [biochemistry] major [department head]. I figured it out before I declared, and I’m still waiting to hear from them. I’m not sure if it’s formalized yet.”
Goorha also said that some of her friends found the process smoother without talking to their college advisors.
Sophomore Isabella Rocha, a Political Science and Economics double major, found the declaration process confusing because each department had its own process.
When declaring her Political Science major, Rocha sat down with her advisor and discussed what classes were required for her degree completion. Then, the head of the Political Science department had to send the plan to the Office of the Registrar before approval. On the other hand, Rocha only had to fill out a form to gain approval for her Economics major.
“It would be nice if [the major declaration process] was more standardized across [departments],” said Rocha.
The majority of sophomores were unaware of the issue regarding the Academic Progress Tool on UR Student. Although some sophomores have not yet declared their majors, they should not expect any significant issues when declaring their majors.