Ready to Declare?

Ithaca recognizes that choosing a major (or minor) is a momentous event, especially for explorers who have taken time and careful thought to consider all options. 

Ithaca College policy requires students to complete one full semester before they are permitted to change majors. Students may remain in the Exploratory Program until they have completed up to 60 credits; they are encouraged to declare, however, as soon as they make that decision.

Once a student declares a major, they will register with students in their year. Many departments place holds on courses for the first few days while students in respective associated majors register for required classes. It is always in a students best interest to declare as soon as possible so that they receive priority registration in the new major. 

Steps to Take
Before transferring into a new major, we strongly recommend all explorers take the following steps:

  1. Review their academic record with their current advisor for potential mismatches or challenges (e.g., strong distaste for math and a desire to declare physics). Students and advisors can do this by using Degree Works and running a "What-If" analysis. The Registrar's Office offers a "What-If" tutorial that is very helpful.
  2. Find out if there is an academic-advising point person in a major or department. If not, speak with the department chair to discuss processes for declaring specific majors. This is how students will learn about upcoming changes in degree schematics and other new information that may not yet be visible or available on the website. Students must check individual department websites to find the name of respective chairs.
  3. Once a student is confident about a desired declaration of major, they must submit a Change of Major/Concentration Form,  which is also available on the Student Forms site. Students must wait to hear news regarding the status of their major, which will be approved by associated school deans.

School of Humanities & Sciences:
Declaring a major within H&S entails the completion and submission of the Change of Major form found in IC Workflow. The chair of the department a student seeks to join will respond with one of three answers: yes, no or on hold. Some majors require students to meet with a department chair before being admitted. If a student receives a hold from a chair, someone in the department will reach out to the student to indicate next steps.

Roy H. Park School of Communications:
Internal transfer applications for the Roy H. Park School of Communications are accepted only after the completion of a minimum of one semester, and are based primarily on GPA.  For additional information on internal transfers from Exploratory to Park and to see some semester-by-semester academic plans for particular majors, check this link.

If a student is interested in studying communications, there are also communications majors within H&S and a marketing concentration within the Business Administration major in the School of Business. We encourage explorers to investigate all options across the college before making a decision. 

School of Business:
Internal transfer applications to the Accounting and Business Administration programs are accepted only after the completion of a minimum of one semester and are based primarily on GPA. Applications are available in the School of Business Dean's Office. Students wishing to declare Legal Studies may simply complete a change/addition of major form, which can be found here.  Students can make an appointment with Assistant Dean Dawn Kline to discuss an internal transfer.  More information about transferring can be found in the middle of this page.  All forms can be picked up and turned in at the School of Business Dean’s Suite located on the third floor of the Park Center for Business.

School of Health Sciences and Human Performance:
Internal transfer requirements and applications for majors in the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance vary by program and range from a simple change of school/major form to a highly competitive application process. Students who have a specific major in mind should speak with the department chair of the department that offers the major for further details about the internal transfer process. Otherwise, students are welcome to make an appointment to speak with Associate Dean Jana Waller to further discuss the options available.  More information about all HSHP majors can be found on this page.

If you have a desire to declare a major in HSHP, you should be aware that the school has a Pre-Health Professions Program, which is coordinated by Catherine Gooch ( The Exploratory Program Director and HSHP Coordinator are always willing to discuss major and minor program options that exist across the college with students. 

School of Music, Theatre, and Dance:
Admission to majors and most minors in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance is by audition only. Exploratory students have historically had success auditioning for and declaring minors, but gaining access to majors in music or theatre is significantly more difficult.  Fewer than 1% of Exploratory students transfer to the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance each year.  Information about admission into the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance can be found here.  Additional requirements for internal transfer students can be found here.  Be sure to visit both these pages, as they both include important admission information.