When you join a department as a major, you have an opportunity to join a community that includes faculty, graduate students, post-docs, administrators and fellow undergraduates, all of whom can help you connect with the intellectual foundations of the discipline. Your major can provide a framework for exploring and choosing among opportunities that enhance your Duke education including studying abroad, mentored research, independent study, and other co-curricular experiences.
Declaring Your Major
Resources for Declaring
- When to Declare
- How to Declare
- IDM and Program II
- Multiple Majors, Minors, Certificates
- Changing Your Major
You can declare your major any time during your sophomore year but no later than the Friday before mid-semester break during your fourth semester of enrollment.
- If your fourth semester at Duke is spring semester (as is for most students), the deadline to declare is the Friday before spring break.
- If your fourth semester at Duke is fall semester, the deadline to declare is the Friday before fall break.
If you haven’t declared a major by your deadline, the Academic Advising Center will send you an e-mail reminder to schedule an appointment with your college advisor and complete the declaration process as soon as possible. Students who remain undeclared will have a dean’s block placed on their registration and will not be able to enroll in classes for the following semester. Sophomores who have plans to study abroad or participate in DukeEngage in the summer or semester after the declaration deadline may become ineligible for their program if they fail to declare by the deadline.
If you are having problems that prevent you from declaring your major by the deadline, it is important that you contact your academic dean.
There are two types of Interdepartmental Majors with slightly different declaration procedures. See the instructions below for each type.
To declare an IDM, you must develop a written plan for your program of study, give your IDM a descriptive title, and work with the directors of undergraduate studies in both departments to put together a cogent list of courses for the major that they will approve. You will specify which department is considered "primary." In considering your proposal, the Directors of Undergraduate Studies should collaborate to insure that your IDM is rigorous and coherent. After you complete the IDM application and have both directors of undergraduate studies and advisors sign the application, submit the signed form to Academic Dean Liguo Zhang for final approval, and processing. After your IDM has been officially declared, you will meet with your IDM advisors each semester to discuss courses for the upcoming semester and be made eligible to enroll.
For more information on the requirements for an Interdepartmental Major go here.
If you're planning to declare an IDM but won't have time to go through the process or have your proposal approved before the major declaration deadline, you must declare a regular major, even if you're planning to change it later. Choose one of the majors from your intended IDM, and follow the steps for declaring a major on the "How to Declare" tab.
FORM: IDM Application
If you are a sophomore declaring your major for the first time, you will also need to complete the standard declaration steps outlined below, after you've created and had your plan for your IDM approved:
- Begin on the Planning Tab, in DukeHub. This is where you’ll find your Degree Progress Report, Long Range Plan, What If report, and your Planner to select future courses. The Planner and What If report are planning tools in which you identify the courses you expect to take during your remaining time at Duke.
- Complete the Long Range Plan. You’ll answer four questions about your future plans, reflect on your choice of the interdepartmental major, and complete a brief survey about your pre-major advising experience.
- Run a Degree Progess Report. View it as a PDF. This will show you how your past and current courses are meeting Trinity requirements, and what general education requirements remain. Note your remaining requirements so in step 4, you can add classes to meet those requirements.
- Add courses to your Planner. Search for the courses you plan to take to complete your IDM and to satisfy all remaining general education requirements and place them in your Planner, so you’ll have 4-5 classes each semester for your remaining semesters. If you plan to study abroad in a Duke-in program, you can add the courses you expect to take. If you don’t know where you will be studying, or what will be offered, just enter courses for that semester as if you would be at Duke. Delete any courses you didn’t assign to a particular semester.
- Run a What If report. The student proposed IDM major requirements will not show as satisfied because they are not programmed into DukeHub. However, all Trinity general education requirements should show as satisfied and you should not have any courses that go beyond your graduation semester. If you do, go back into your Planner and delete them.
- Schedule an appointment with your college advisor to review your Long Range Plan (What If and Reflection). They will approve everything and then Dean Zhang will review your submitted IDM application and your major declaration materials, and process your application.
These IDMs are programmed in DukeHub, therefore, you will add planned classes for the major AND general studies requirements, making sure both show as 'satisfied', just as you would any other major. Schedule an appointment with your college advisor to review your What If report and reflection. Your advisor will confirm the accuracy of the What If report and reflection. Your college advisor will then notify the AAC that your major is ready to be declared.
To learn more about Program II and to apply, please visit their site. If you're planning to declare a Program II major but won't have time to go through the process or have your proposal approved before the major declaration deadline, you must declare a regular major, even if you're planning to change it later. Choose whatever major is closest to your proposed Program II, and follow the steps for declaring a major on the "How to Declare" tab.
Trinity students may declare up to two majors. Students are made eligible to enroll by the program or department of their first major. Students with two majors may also be assigned a faculty advisor for the second major. Check this page to see how advising works in your major.
In addition to a major, you may also choose to complete the requirements of a minor or certificate program, which will be noted on your Duke record and transcript. The total combination of plans (major, minor, certificate program) may not exceed three.
You can learn about all the certificates, majors and minors at this page.
Once you have declared your major, you may change, add, or delete a major, minor, or certificate through the Office of the University Registrar. A form is available online. You don't have to submit another Long Range Plan to make changes to your program of study after your initial declaration.