The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Students choose majors leading up to major declaration day on Sept. 20

3 min read

When a student declares their major they get assigned an advisor from that department. | Sarah Sklar, The Weekly Ringer


Staff Writer

With the Sept. 20 deadline for students to submit their major declaration forms, students and faculty have been discussing the major declaration process.

First-time students are eligible to declare their major in either a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Liberal Studies at the end of their first year or with the completion of 28 credits. The forms required to declare a major are available to be completed through the Office of the Registrar, online or the chosen department. 

After submitting their application, the department chair sends the approved form to the Office of the Registrar. Declared students then get assigned a major advisor.

Rosina Andrix, a sophomore majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing is a recent transfer who just declared her major.

“I think that [declaring] was one of the easier processes for me because I transferred super last minute and so it was like really fast pace for me,” said Andrix. “It’s really easy, especially since I already knew what I wanted to major in.”

During orientation, she was assigned a temporary advisor in the department of her choice before receiving an email instructing her on how to declare.

“As long as you just do it when they give it to you, then you’re way ahead of the deadline,” said Andrix.

Jonathan Levin, professor and department chair of English and linguistics, agreed that the declaration process is often a smooth one for students. Once he receives notification that a student has applied to declare the English major, he meets with the student one-on-one to talk about the major, get to know the student and assign them to an advisor. This gives him a chance to “match people up evenly and also keep an eye on how many assignments faculty have so we’re sharing it across the faculty as much as possible,” he said. 

Levin said the process is often fast if he meets with the student quickly, as he can process the paperwork during that meeting.

“[The] major declaration process and the assignment of the advisor is pretty close to instantaneous at that point,” he said. “The only delays I’ve had is occasionally when there is a student that doesn’t respond to the email. That’s the one place it can slow down a bit.”

The declaration process looks a little different for students wishing to pursue a Bachelor of Science in the Nursing Completion Program. These students transfer credits from another institution and then are enrolled into the program at UMW.

Jodie Hayob-Matzke, professor of geology and department chair of Earth and environmental sciences, offered advice to first-time and transfer students declaring their major.

“Some don’t know how to use our system and run a degree evaluation and that’s fine, but they should ask for help or make sure their advisor has shown them how to do that or they can contact Academic Services if they have general questions on how to do things like that,” said Hayob-Matzke.