Wait, You Mean I Actually Have To (Declare A) Major In Something?

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(Adorable) Bwogger Mia declared this spring!

For the past few weeks, you’ve probably seen lots of Facebook posts from your sophomore friends with their cute little “I declared!” pins. (If they’re Barnard, at least. CC/SEAS/GS kids don’t get pins. I know, I know, I’m sad too.) You’ve also probably felt lots of different feelings about these posts… anything from “that’s my major, dammit” or “stop pretending like you have your life together, bitch. I saw you crying in 209 last night.” Regardless, here’s a helpful little guide to getting your life together. At least when it comes to declaring a major. You’re on your own for the rest of it, pal. 

Here at Columbia, we love nothing more than to whine and moan about some of the most trivial things. Remember that time where there was an uproar about the placement of a statue on campus, complete with a petition, multiple discussions in the student councils, and even a survey over it? Damn, we just love complaining about some fairly irrelevant shit.

To be fair, though, one of the most prevalent complaints on campus has to be about advising, or the general lack thereof. The difficulty of scheduling an appointment, the frequent cancellations and delays by advisors, the general lack of focus or knowledge when it comes to major requirements – all common, and valid, issues to be had with Columbia advising as an institution. If anything, the single thing at which advisors across the board excel is reminding you that yes, you do actually have to declare a major and yes, you actually have to finish those damn requirements (even though they might still not know what those are).

But how on God’s green earth does one go about declaring a major? Well, at Barnard, it’s pretty straightforward: it has always, and probably will always be, an in-person declaration that comes with a bright little pin for you to show the world that you’re a college educated individual. At Columbia, however, it’s not quite so direct of a path.

For Columbia College, Major Declaration runs from March 7th to March 10th, and if you’re a sophomore in CC, you actually have to declare a major (or a concentration) during this time. To actually declare a major, you have to go online and log in to the major declaration site in order to select a major/concentration. Seems fairly simple, right? Nope! If you’re looking to declare in creative writing, drama & theatre arts, sustainable development, or any of twelve other majors/concentrations, you need written departmental approval to actually finalize that selection. Also, if you’re interested in the special concentration for Business Management, you’ll need to actually visit the student advising center to sort that out!

So, in order to help you out, here’s the link to the major declaration page, so you can be sure to lock in that Econ and PoliSci double major right away. If you’re really set on Biochem (or any other major that needs approval), make sure to fill out this form and get it approved by your specific department this week.

Columbia recommends that if you still have questions, “reach out to your advisor in the Berick Center for Student Advising.” But we both know that probably won’t actually resolve your question. Good luck finding the information on your own!


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