Answers to Questions
Frequently Asked about Majors and Minors

1. Do I have to have a major?

A major must be selected, but students may take time to explore options prior to selecting one. Students who are still in this discovery process are assigned to a Discovery Program adviser. See Discovery Program for more information.

2. When should I declare a major?

Many students come to Stetson with little or no idea of what they want to major in. They are called Discovery students, and the Discovery Program is designed to assist them as they search for a major. Various strategies that can be utilized in looking for a major are discussed in How to Search for a Major. You do not need to wait until you are absolutely sure about your choice before you declare a major. You can change your mind at any time, so declare as soon as you have a strong leading candidate. Once you declare a major you will be assigned to an adviser in that department, which will give you access to the most knowledgeable advice concerning the requirements for that major and on tailoring the major to your career and life goals. Most students declare a major by the end of their sophomore year. Delaying a choice much beyond the sophomore year may result in a delay in when you can graduate.

3. How do I declare a major or change one?

The academic deans coordinate this process. See Declaring / Changing Your Major for details.

4. What is the difference between a BA degree and a BS degree?

Whether a particular department or program within the College of Arts & Sciences offers a BA or a BS is often more a matter of tradition than what courses are being required for the degree. The few departments or programs that are offering both degrees are doing so to offer two different tracks that will appeal to students with different interests. If your department or program only offers one degree, do not worry because graduate programs and potential employers will not discriminate. If it does offer both degrees then you should talk to an advisor in that department to help you understand the differences and make an informed choice of the one that is a better match to your interests.

5. May I have more than one major?

It is possible, but it is not necessarily a good idea. Your primary goal in college should be to develop a broad set of skills that will serve you well for the rest of your life. Although having two majors or a major and a couple minors may look impressive on your transcripts, they can make it more difficult to learn and master the skills that you will find most useful. Doing two majors usually means that you will be doing close to the minimum number of courses for each major, you will miss out on the rich selection of electives that are available in each department, and you will not have time for electives in other departments. You are usually better off choosing a single major and then selecting other courses that make you well educated for the life you want to live. Consider some electives in your major. Consider an advanced (200 or 300 level) writing course. Consider courses from related departments that will supplement your major and give you different perspectives on the material. If you have a strong interest outside your major department, then pursue it but choose courses primarily because of your interest rather than based on whether it will give you a minor or a second major. Choose courses primarily because of the way they will enhance your education rather than because they make your transcript sound more impressive. For additional considerations see: Double Major.

5. Do I have to have a minor?

A minor is not required, but one may be selected to complement or enhance your major. If you have a strong interest in an area outside your major and want to take a number of courses in that area, then consider a minor. If completing a minor would force you to take courses that do little to educate you for the life you want to live, or if it would prevent you from taking electives in your major or in another department that would prove valuable to you, then do not complete a minor. Having a minor adds a little zing to your transcript, but it is not as important as consistently choosing courses that enhance your education.

Revised: 09/14/11