Major changes and admissions

Sometimes, students change their minds after they submit their application. Let’s say a student selects communications and had a change of heart to natural sciences. They submitted their application on September 1, and it is currently mid-November. Should this student request a major change?

It isn’t a good idea. It is discouraged to seek a major change during the admissions process, and for good reason. First of all, if you were doing your application correctly, you would have crafted your profile around demonstrating a good fit for your first choice major. If your application hadn’t been reviewed yet and you request your major to something else, you wouldn’t have the opportunity to modify your essays and resume. Related, don’t resubmit your essays.

Second, if your application had already been reviewed, it would not be re-reviewed with your new choice. Whatever score you had before is what would remain. You are making your admissions chances more complicated by requesting a change.

Finally, what if you change your mind after you have already received your decision? UT still allows a period from roughly April 1 to May 15 to request a major change. Admissions does not automatically grant requests. Major changes are based on many factors outside of your control and concentrated solely on the needs of the university. They have also closed down transfer requests during summer orientation, something that used to be very common before 2012.

Of course, most 18-year-olds don’t have a clear idea of what they want to do. That UT’s process requires applicants to commit to a major early on as opposed to everyone entering undeclared doesn’t do most students any favors. The average student will change their major twice before they graduate.

Nevertheless, the first step is getting in. Don’t complicate things by requesting a major change until after you gain admission. Later on, once you start taking college classes and gaining exposure to new friends and ideas, you can sort out a major change during your freshman or sophomore year.

Kevin MartinProcess