Major and Minor Declaration
Each department at New Paltz sets it's own policies for major declaration, including minimum credit thresholds, GPA minimums, prerequisite coursework, etc. While some students may be admitted directly into majors as freshmen, most students will complete at least three semesters before selecting and declaring a major. The process of major declaration involves meeting with someone in the major department (often the chair), receiving a major plan of study, completing the major declaration form, and being assigned an advisor in the major department. Transfer credits may be applied to major requirements; however, one half of the major must be completed at New Paltz. Students will be expected to fulfill the major requirements that are in effect at the time they officially declare or redeclare (in the case of academic dismissal or removal from the major). Completing the process in a timely fashion is, therefore, important.
Students who have 75 or more credits in progress will not be permitted to register for additional credits unless they have a declared major. A pre-major is not valid after 75 credits are completed. New York State residents with 60 or more credits will not be eligible for New York's Tuition Assistance Plan (TAP) until the major is declared. This policy applies to incoming transfer students as well as continuing students at New Paltz.
Students who need help deciding on a major should seek assistance from the Career Resource Center and the Academic Advising Center. The College Catalogue is also a helpful resource. Descriptions of all majors, major requirements, course descriptions and policies for declaring a major can be found in the Catalog. Many departments also have this information on their webpages.
Minors - Students have the option at New Paltz to minor in a field, but it is not required. Minors typically involve between 18 and 25 credits, and can be a way of exploring an interest area in a less in-depth way than a major, or of organizing elective credits. To determine if a department offers a minor, consult the College Catalogue. Students who wish to pursue a minor must file a Declaration of Minor form. Contact the department offering the minor to determine the process for completing the declaration form. At least half of the credits for the minor must not be contained within the program plan of the student's major (this includes major courses as well as required cognated courses). Students will be expected to fulfill the minor requirements that are in effect at the time the minor is officially declared. Transfer credits may be applied to minor requirements; however, one half of the minor must be completed at New Paltz. Students should consult the department regarding minimum grade requirements for courses used to fulfill the minor.