Declaration of a Program of Study
All students who enter Austin College enter as an Undeclared student. In order to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Austin College, a student must declare a full program of study that includes at minimum either:
- a major and a minor, or
- two majors
|Program of study = Combination of major/minor or two majors needed to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.|
Additional minors can be affixed to either set of programs mentioned above.
In the past, students were required to declare a full Program of Study at the same time. However, students can now declare a major at any time, even if a minor or another major has not yet been identified. A minor cannot be declared until a major has been declared, however.
Milestones in the Declaration of a Program of Study
New students may declare a major at any time after the first day of classes. A minor cannot be assigned to a student until a major has first been declared.
Students who enter the College as freshmen must declare a full Program of Study by the fourth semester of enrollment. Transfer students must declare a full Program of Study by the close of the sophomore year (i.e., in which 15 course credits are completed and enrolled in). Students who transfer in coursework in excess of 15 course credits have one full academic year to declare a full Program of Study.
Registration holds (i.e., DEC holds) are placed on student academic records preventing registration for the following term if they have not declared a full Program of Study and will have completed their fourth semester (students who enter as freshmen only) or will have completed 15 course credit units (transfer students only) at the end of the current term.
How to Declare a Program of Study
Students with guidance of their faculty mentors should complete the Major and Minor Declaration and Changes form. Students can change a major or minor after the initial declaration using the same form.
A Special Note about Catalog Year…
When students enter Austin College, the Bulletin that is published at the time of entry becomes their official guide for completing their four-year academic program of study. If a department changes the degree requirements or courses in the years that follow entry to AC, students can choose to remain on the program of study for their entry catalog year or move to a newer catalog year to take advantage of new requirements. Changes in the catalog year of a major or minor must also be documented with Registrar’s Office to ensure proper audits for graduation from Austin College.
Students and faculty mentors can attain copies of program checklists for this academic year for the all of the majors and minors offered on the General Degree Requirement page. Previous checklists would have to be attained via the Bulletin for the academic year of entry in the Bulletin Archive.
Changes to Course or Degree Requirements for a Program
|Substitution = when one course is allowed to meet the requirement for another course.
Waiver = when a requirement of the program is being eliminated for special circumstances beyond the control of the student.
Majors and minors vary in composition across campus. Some programs list every course option that a student can choose from, while others list a few courses and then indicate courses that are approved by the Chairs/Directors. Some students bring course credit with them in transfer from another institution that the departments/programs will allow in the program. To share the intent of the Chair/Director to make adjustments to the program, a Major and Minor Course Substitutions and Program Waivers form must be completed.
Tips for Completing the Form
- Utilize a form for only one program (i.e., the major or the minor) but not both. Use a separate form to document changes to a different program.
- For courses in which a student needs Chair/Director approval, the course should be listed in the AC Course Substitutions area and the form signed by the Chair/Director.
- When a course is listed as a requirement for the program and another course is being allowed to substitute for that required course, the adjustment should be listed in the AC Course Substitution area of the form.
- When students are allowed to utilize a transfer course for a program requirement, list the transfer course as it shows up on their Program Evaluation (found in WebHopper) and the program requirement/course that is met as a result of utilizing this course.
- Sometimes, there are unforeseen circumstances that occur in the timing of course offerings that would prevent a timely graduation of a student. If the program Chair/Director determines that this is not the fault of the student, a waiver of requirement could be granted using the Program Requirements Waiver section of the form.
- e.g., Some majors specify subtopics within the major that students must complete. If the department has not been able to offer a course such that a student could take it to finish their program a waiver could be given for this requirement and another course offered in its place. The Waiver would be documented on the form, and the new course allowed could be listed in the AC Course Substitutions area.
- Completion of substitutions and waivers throughout the entire academic program for a student helps to ensure that the Program Evaluation tool in WebHopper is effective feedback on degree progress for the student and mentor.