Majors, Minors, Certificates: Declaring a Major


The declaration of a major is a watershed moment in your academic career at Duke, for it marks the end of your premajor experience. With it comes the assignment of a new academic advisor on the faculty of your major department or program. 

As a Trinity College student, you must declare a major no later than the Friday before midsemester break during your fourth semester of enrollment. (Many premajors opt to declare a major as early as their third or even the end of their second semester.) If you fail to declare a major by this date, the Academic Advising Center will place a block on your registration, preventing you from registering for courses from that point on. This is to insure that students halfway through their studies have settled the question of their major before they choose courses for their fifth semester.


To declare a major, you will need first to complete the "Long-Range Planning and Assessment" form, available on ACES, and meet with your academic advisor, who will need to review and approve your Plan before you submit it to the Office of the Academic Advising Center. The Academic Advising Center will give you information about who to contact in the department of your major to discuss the assignment of a new departmental academic advisor. More information about declaring a major is available on the Academic Advising Web site.

Note: Although only one major is required for graduation,  some students opt to declare a second major.   Students also can declare minors and certificate programs, but the combined number of majors, minors, and certificate programs cannot exceed three.  Thus, you can declare at most:

  • two majors and either a minor or a certificate program;
  • one major and two minors;
  • one major and two certificate programs; or
  • one major, a minor, and a certificate program.

See also: