I. Executive Summary
Students must complete the requirements for an academic major in order to graduate from the University. This policy details how students must, therefore, enroll in a program leading to a baccalaureate degree, and, in some cases, they may choose an area of academic concentration within that degree, as well as an optional minor or second major.
II. Policy Statement
Declaration of Major(s)
Students must complete the requirements for an academic major in order to graduate from the University. Students must, therefore, enroll in a program leading to a baccalaureate degree, and, in some cases, they may choose an area of academic concentration within that degree. In order to be admitted to a degree program, a student must meet all requirements for acceptance into that major and submit an approved “Change of Major/Minor” form through the relevant department to the Office of the Registrar. Students may declare multiple majors presuming they meet the requirements for each degree. Students pursuing multiple majors are encouraged to meet with advisors in each department to ensure they are fulfilling degree requirements.
The choice of a major appropriate for a student’s interests, aptitudes, and career goals is a crucial decision during a student’s academic career. Undergraduate students may declare a major field of study or pre-professional program upon their enrollment at UNC Charlotte as freshmen or transfer students, or they may enroll in the University as undeclared students in University College (UCOL). Undeclared students should work closely with their advisor in the University Advising Center to identify and prepare for their chosen field of study, and for that reason, advising is required for all undeclared (UCOL) students each semester. All students should declare and be accepted into a major or a pre-professional program by the time they have earned 60 credit hours; transfer students entering with more than 60 credit hours should make that declaration upon enrollment or during their first semester of attendance. A delay in selecting a major and/or multiple changes of major often prevents graduation in a timely fashion.
Declaration of Minor(s)
Students who are working on a bachelor's degree at UNC Charlotte have the option to enroll in a program leading to a minor (or minors) provided: (1) the minor field is different from the major field; (2) the student meets the requirements for acceptance into the minor program; and (3) the appropriate application for admission or the "Change of Major/Minor" form is approved and filed at the Office of the Registrar. Minors are optional and may not be mandated by an academic program/major.
Change of Degree Program, Major, Minor, Concentration
An undergraduate student may change the degree program, major, area of academic concentration, or minor in which they are enrolled and may enroll in a new program of study provided that space is available and they meet the prerequisites for admission to the new program, and submit an approved "Change of Major/Minor" form through the relevant department to the Office of the Registrar. As noted above, changes in major, particularly those made after a student has earned 60 credit hours, may delay graduation.
Second Baccalaureate Degree or Major
Students who have earned bachelor's degrees from UNC Charlotte or a college or university accredited by an accepted accrediting body may apply to a program leading to a second baccalaureate degree or major provided the major field selected is different from that of the first degree or the degree sought is different from the first granted by UNC Charlotte. In addition, the appropriate application for admission must be filed and approved.
Students seeking a second baccalaureate degree or major must: (1) satisfy residency requirement (refer to Residence section of Baccalaureate Degree Requirements) if their first degree was not earned at UNC Charlotte; (2) achieve a minimum grade point average of 2.0 on all work attempted toward the second degree or major; and (3) satisfy all department and college requirements for the degree or major sought. Students who hold a baccalaureate degree from a college or university accredited by an accepted accrediting body will not be required to satisfy the UNC Charlotte General Education Requirements for a second degree. Students will be issued a transfer credit report and will have their credit from their first degree evaluated. Students who are completing a second baccalaureate degree or major within the same degree (e.g., B.A., B.S.) are not awarded another diploma provided the first degree was earned at UNC Charlotte. Second majors are optional and may not be mandated by an academic program/major.
Students who have earned a bachelor's degree from UNC Charlotte may enroll in a program of study leading to a minor provided: (1) the minor field selected is different from any prior major or minor; (2) the student meets the requirements for acceptance into the minor program; and (3) the appropriate application for admission or a "Change of Major/Minor" form is approved and filed at the Office of the Registrar. Students who are completing a baccalaureate minor at UNC Charlotte are not awarded another diploma. Minors are optional and may not be mandated by an academic program/major.
- Accepted Accrediting Body - the following are accepted accrediting bodies: Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
- Bachelor's degree or baccalaureate – A bachelor’s degree is comprised of General Education courses, a major program(s), elective courses, and, in some cases, a minor program(s), and, in general, is completed in four years.A post-secondary degree requiring 120 credit hours of specified coursework (except for programs that have applied for and received a waiver to exceed 120 credit hours from the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees). A bachelor’s degree is comprised of General Education courses, a major program(s), elective courses, and, in some cases, a minor program(s), and, in general, is completed in four years.
- Credit hours –An amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:
(1) 750 minutes of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of 1500 minutes of out-of-class student work for one semester hour of credit; or
(2) At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities or instructional modes of delivery as established by the institution including distance education, hybrid, and face-to-face instruction; laboratory work; internships; practica; studio work; and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.
- Degree – Diploma or title awarded to a student who completed a prescribed course of study.
- Degree program – An organized sequence of courses that leads to the awarding of a college degree at the undergraduate or graduate level. Sometimes referred to as Curriculum.
- Major – A student's primary field of study.
- Minor – A student's optional secondary field of study.
- Postbaccalaureate - A student who has earned a baccalaureate degree and takes educational courses; sometimes referred to as a "post-bacc" or non-degree seeking student.
- Registrar – The official at the University who is responsible for maintaining student records. The Office of the Registrar plans and oversees registration, academic record maintenance, transcript preparation, graduation, a degree audit report system, and curricular records.
- Undeclared – A student who has not yet declared a major field of study; sometimes referred to as undecided.
IV. Policy Contact(s)
- Authority: Faculty Council [Faculty Academic Policy and Standards Committee]
- Responsible Office: Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
- Additional Contact(s): Office of the Registrar
- Approved: July 30, 1976
- Revised: February 4, 1988
- Revised: May 5, 1994
- Revised: July 23, 1997
- Revised: March 26, 2015
- Revised: June 18, 2018 [updated language from "an accredited institution" to "a college or university accredited by an accepted accrediting body"]
- Revised: March 25, 2021 [added language that second majors and minors are optional and may not be mandated by an academic program]
VI. Related Policies, Procedures, and Resources
- UNC Charlotte Academic Policy: Definition of Undergraduate Majors, Minors, Concentrations, and Certificates
VII. Frequently Asked Questions
- Where is this policy referenced?
The policy is published on the Academic Policies & Procedures webpage of the Provost website and in the Degree Requirements & Academic Policies section of the Undergraduate Catalog.
- Which students are covered under this policy?
This policy applies to all undergraduate students at UNC Charlotte.
Are there any exceptions to the requirement that minors are optional?
The only exception allowed for required minors is for students enrolled in the B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies. The Interdisciplinary Studies program allows students to combine some minors into a self-designed program. Please contact the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies for more information.