Changes to Requirements of the Major

Occasionally a department will seek to change the requirements for its major or to undertake a more extensive revision of its program than the mere substitution of one course for a similar course, or the addition of particular courses to a list of options that may fulfill a specific requirement. The Committee on Majors must review any significant changes to the requirements of a major program, including the substitution of a course at one level for a course at a different level, changes to the number of courses or course credits required for the major, or a shift in the types of courses required.

Major requirements are recorded in a department’s program description in Yale College Programs of Study (YCPS); this description is in a sense contractual. If the Committee on Majors should approve changes to the requirements of a major, it is ordinarily expected that students will be held to the requirements in effect no later than the year in which they elected their major. A department cannot make new major requirements mandatory for students who will be juniors or seniors in the academic year during which the changes go into effect; however, such majors may elect to complete the new requirements with department approval. Because many students plan ahead carefully, a department that changes its major requirements should consider making the changes effective only for first-year students and subsequent classes.

The DUS is responsible for presenting a proposal for changes to the major to the Committee on Majors after consultation with the departmental student advisory committee and approval by the departmental faculty. In addition to submitting a written version of revised YCPS copy incorporating the proposed changes and the reasons for them, you might be invited to attend the meeting of the committee at which they are discussed. Contact David Francis, Secretary of the Committee on Majors, for more information about the approval process and for inclusion on the committee’s agenda. 

Proposed changes to the major must be submitted by the end of the fall term prior to the academic year in which the department wishes the changes to become effective.