Undergraduate Major

The requirements for a major have been approved by the department or program, by the Yale College Course of Study Committee or the Committee on Majors, and by the Yale College Faculty. The DUS is the officer of the department charged with the enforcement of these requirements. All students, once they have chosen a major, must have their course programs approved at the beginning of each term by the DUS or by a member of the department designated by the DUS (see Advising). The DUS or the departmental adviser must be satisfied each term that the student is making satisfactory progress toward meeting the requirements of the major.

Most departments give you as DUS the authority to use your judgment as to when it is academically appropriate to waive a requirement or to approve a course in substitution for one normally required. The most common case is that of a student who wishes a course in a related department or a residential college seminar to be counted toward the requirements of the major. If the substitution is not self-evidently plausible, you should ask for a copy of the syllabus of the course, and you might want to require the student to make the request in writing, describing how the course fits into the work of the major. When a substitution is approved, keep a careful record of it against the day when the department must certify to the registrar that the student has completed the requirements of the major (see How to Graduate a Senior). If the department has delegated to the DUS the authority to make appropriate waivers or substitutions in a student’s major program, no further approval from Yale College is required. If a matter raises a question of general policy, you will want to consult your colleagues in the department or perhaps the departmental curriculum committee.

For more information, see Changes to Requirements of the Major.