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Change of Major (Undergraduates)

At the time of admission to the university, each undergraduate student is assigned to a pre-major or major or is designated as an undeclared major. Undergraduate students who are considering a change of major must meet precise major-specific criteria in order to change, which include:

  • Meeting all major-specific degree requirements in the new major
  • Demonstrating a progressively successful academic history that reflects potential success in the new major
  • Availability of seats in the intended major to accommodate additional students

All requests to change majors are considered on a case-by-case basis. Please note that changes to academic objectives (for example, changing major, adding a second major, or declaring a minor) may not be allowed for a student who has earned 90 or more Timely Graduation Units. Students are strongly encouraged to complete changes to degree objectives before reaching senior status (90 units).​

Upon change or declaration of major, students must adopt the requirements of the major and any minors in effect at that time in the CSULB Catalog.

Students who are pre-major or undeclared should see Declare a Major (Pre-Major).

Limitations

There are limitations on the ability to add a second major or to add/change degree objectives:

Academic Progress Rules for Undergraduate Programs

The purpose of the Academic Progress Rules for Undergraduate Programs policy is to identify at-risk students who are not making sufficient progress in their undergraduate academic programs for the purposes of intervention. A student so identified will be required to meet with an academic advisor to develop a plan that will lead to the successful completion of the student's existing program.

If it is determined that successful completion of the existing academic program is not achievable, then the student will be dismissed from that program and guided to a more appropriate program. The goals of the policy are to ensure that students are pursuing degree objectives that they can successfully complete and make progress in their current degree objectives.

To ensure that students with weaker GPAs do not become overextended, but instead concentrate on improving their GPAs for successful completion of the primary program, the policy also requires that students with any GPA below 2.5 receive the approval of their primary major advisor to add any new objective to their degree plan (for example, a minor, second major, or certificate). Please note that a student whose major GPA is near or below 2.0 is unlikely to be allowed to pursue additional degree objectives until they have improved their major GPA.

A student may be denied a request to declare an academic program if the student's academic record already demonstrates a lack of success based on that program's approved Academic Progress Rules or their GPA. These students should be referred to the college's professional advisors or — in their absence — to the University Center for Undergraduate Advising.

Timely Graduation Policy for Undergraduate Students

The majority of undergraduate programs at CSULB require 120 units. Under the Timely Graduation for Undergraduate Students policy, students may earn up to 120% of the number of units required for the degree in their declared primary major in order to complete the degree. Any additional degree objectives (for example, majors, minors, or certificates) must be able to be completed within the additional units allowed.

If you have earned 90 or more Timely Graduation Units, you may not be allowed to make changes to your academic objectives (for example, changing major, adding a second major, or declaring a minor).

Transfer Students

California State University, Long Beach is an impacted campus with highly competitive admissions among a large pool of qualified applicants. Given that transfer admission is based on meeting applicable MSDR and GPA requirements and that students must abide by University policy for timely progress to degree, the assumption is that transfer students have applied to a major they are interested in, and as such we strongly discourage students from considering a change in major. However, we do understand that transfer students may wish to pursue a change in major in rare circumstances. If the student qualifies by meeting all MSDR requirements in the new major, demonstrates a progressively successful academic history that reflects potential success in the new major, and the program currently has seats available to accommodate additional students, the request may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please be aware that requests are reviewed by the college of the potential new major, and the final decision is determined at the college-level associated with the requested new major. 

Second Baccalaureate Students

Due to the special admission requirements for second baccalaureate students, students are not allowed to change their degree objectives nor are they eligible to declare additional bachelor-level majors or minors.

Instructions

How to Request to a Change of Major

If you are considering a change of major:

  1. Review the major-specific criteria and consult with the department advisor for the new major about the possibility of changing your major.
  2. Successfully complete the Major-Specific Requirements. If you are considering a highly impacted major, additional requirements will apply and admission to the major is competitive.
  3. Once you successfully complete the major-specific requirements, contact the department advisor for the new major.
  4. If the advisor and the college determine that you are an eligible candidate for the new major, they will submit a change of major request to the Registrar's office. Be aware that additional information may be requested to ensure compliance with the policies above before the request can be processed.
  5. Once the request is submitted to the Registrar's office and approved, you will be notified by email and your new major will be reflected in your student record.

You should also be aware that the Academic Progress Rules for Undergraduate Programs and Timely Graduation for Undergraduate Students policies may affect your ability to change your major.

How to Declare a Second Major

If you are considering adding a second major:

  1. Review the major-specific criteria and consult with the department advisor for the second major about the possibility of adding a second major.
  2. Successfully complete the Major-Specific Requirements.
    • You can check how your academic coursework applies to the proposed second major’s admission requirements or degree requirements by creating a “What-if Report” in MyCSULB Student Center.
    • If you are considering a highly impacted major, additional requirements will apply and admission to the major is competitive.
  3. Once you successfully complete the major-specific requirements, contact the department advisor for the second major.
  4. If the advisor and the college determine that you are an eligible candidate for the second major, they will submit a request to the Registrar's office to declare the second major. Be aware that additional information may be requested to ensure compliance with the policies above before the request can be processed.
  5. Once the request is submitted to the Registrar's office and approved, you will be notified by email and your second major will be reflected in your student record.

You should also be aware that two additional policies may affect your ability to declare a second major:

  • The Academic Progress Rules for Undergraduate Programs policy stipulates that if any one of a student’s four GPAs is below 2.5, the student must have the support of their primary major advisor before declaring an additional major. Please note that a student whose major GPA is near or below 2.0 is unlikely to be allowed to pursue additional degree objectives until they have improved their major GPA.
  • The Timely Graduation for Undergraduate Students policy stipulates that you may complete two major programs simultaneously, but all programs must be able to be completed within 120% of the units allowed in the higher unit major.

How to Declare a Minor or Certificate

A minor is specified at the department level and requires at least 15 units, 6 of which must be at the upper-division. A minor also requires a 2.0 GPA and 6 units in residence. A minor must be pursued concurrently with a bachelor's degree. The awarding of a minor will be reflected on your transcript, but not on your diploma.

A certificate program normally requires at least 12 units, 9 of which must be at the upper-division, and emphasizes the application of your knowledge in the subject area. Courses taken to fulfill the bachelor's degree may also be applied to certificate requirements. Undergraduate certificates must be pursued concurrently with a bachelor's degree. The awarding of a certificate will be reflected on your transcript, but not on your diploma, and a separate certificate document will be issued.

If you are considering adding a minor or certificate:

  1. Review the requirements for the minor or certificate program in the CSULB Catalog.
  2. Contact the department advisor for the minor or certificate program.
  3. If the advisor and the college determine that you are an eligible candidate for the minor or certificate program, they will submit a request to the Registrar's office. Be aware that additional information may be requested to ensure compliance with the policies above before the request can be processed.
  4. Once the request is submitted to the Registrar's office and approved, you will be notified by email and your new minor or certificate program will be reflected in your student record.

Students are encouraged to pursue their academic interests. However, you should also be aware that two additional policies may affect your ability to declare a minor or certificate program:

  • The Academic Progress Rules for Undergraduate Programs policy stipulates that if any one of a student's four GPAs is below 2.5, the student must have the approval of their primary major advisor to add any additional degree objectives. Please note that a student whose major GPA is near or below 2.0 is unlikely to be allowed to pursue additional degree objectives until they have improved their major GPA.
  • The Timely Graduation for Undergraduate Students policy stipulates all degree objectives (for example, majors, minors, and certificates) must be completed within 120% of the units allowed for the primary degree.

How to Identify Progress in Major-Specific or Degree Requirements

You can check how your academic coursework applies to the proposed new major’s requirements or your degree requirements by creating a “What-if Report” in MyCSULB Student Center:

  • If you want to see your progress towards meeting the major-specific requirements, select the pre-major under the Area of Study dropdown, such as “Pre-Economics.”
  • If you want to see all of the degree requirements for the major, select the actual major in the Area of Study dropdown, such as “Economics.”