Transition to Your Major

We’re excited to have you here in the Explore Program, but we know that eventually you will be ready to move into your major!

Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions about transitioning to a major.

Explore Program students declare whenever they are ready and meet the requirements for the major they plan to declare. Students can declare before orientation, at the end of their first semester, or any semester after that. We encourage you to declare as soon as you are ready so that you can get connected with opportunities in your new major and stay on track for graduation.

Most of our students (around 80%) declare a major by the beginning of their sophomore year. Students are expected to declare by the end of their sophomore year, with support from Explore Program advisors to help them get there.

Some majors have requirements to declare. These may include a GPA requirement or completion of certain courses which tell the advisors and faculty that the major will be a good fit for you. Each undergraduate college at Northeastern outlines their change of major process and requirements on their website, so you can start planning early for the majors you are exploring. 

Northeastern Registrar’s Guide to Changing Majors

No. All students who meet the requirements are eligible to declare any major. 

Yes. When you are ready to declare, we will connect you with your new advisor and guide you through the steps to declaring. Your new advisor will help you finalize your academic plan, connect you with opportunities in the major, and assign you a co-op pattern. 

Although infrequent, this does happen! Students may learn about a new academic discipline they never considered before, take an elective class which sparks a new interest, or decide to add a combined major. 

There are no limits to the number of times you can change your major at Northeastern, although we encourage you to consider the academic implications and time to graduation before making any changes to your academic plan. You can work with your new advisor in the major you declared originally to prepare for changing your major again, and you are always welcome back in the Explore Program if you need us. 

Explore Program advisors will help you to map your possible path to degree for all of the majors you are considering. We encourage you to choose a major which allows you to graduate in no more than 8 academic semesters, not including co-op, which is what we consider to be an on-time graduation for federal financial aid purposes. 

Because you have been taking courses in the majors you are exploring alongside students in those majors, courses you have already taken in the major you declare will fulfill major requirements. Any courses you have taken outside of the major will count toward general electives and may fulfill NUpath (core) requirements. 

Explore Program students graduate in 8 academic semesters (on-time graduation) at the same rate as students who start in majors. This means there is no disadvantage to being undeclared and taking the time you need to explore your academic interests before making an informed decision.