Planning Your Major

A General Guide

The first step in planning your major is to decide on the areas of study that interest you most. Once you have a short list of possibilities, visit your advisor and the career center to discuss what the major entails and what your career options will be if you graduate with a particular major.

Most advisors have office hours posted on their doors. You can leave a note, call and leave a voice mail message, or send an email message asking for an appointment to discuss major options and requirements.

What does my advisor do?

Your advisor's job is to offer suggestions and help you create a balanced set of classes for your college career. S/he should also help you figure out what your goals are; provide direction, criticism, and praise as needed to help you achieve your educational goals; and help you see the relation between your educational goals and your longer-range personal and career goals. Your pre-major faculty advisor assists you in planning your course of study, counsels you about College regulations and procedures, and provides information about campus resources that support the academic program. You are encouraged to consult with other faculty as you test your interests and academic goals, trying to come to a decision about what major to choose.

You are assigned a "pre-major faculty advisor" when you enter Mills College, usually based on the major in which you tentatively expressed interest in early paperwork, and on the availability of different professors and staff. Once you've declared a major, you will be assigned to a faculty advisor in your major department, who will usually be your advisor for the rest of your college career.

Declaration of a Major

You must declare your major by the end of your sophomore year. Students who transfer to Mills in their junior year of college must declare a major by the end of their first semester here. But even though you have two years in which to choose a major, it's best to begin planning as early as possible so that you can get all your classes in. There are many classes at Mills that are taught "in rotation," every other year, so not declaring your major until the end of your sophomore year may mean that you find yourself forced to take some of your required classes at the very end of your college career to graduate, assuming that the classes you need are not full, cancelled, or scheduled so that they conflict with each other!

Academic Advising
Required number of course credits for graduation
Choices of Major
Double and College Majors

Once you've chosen your major, look through the courses in the current catalog and plan how to get all your requirements in.

A student's graduation requirements will be those stated in the Catalog in the year in which she was admitted, except that the major sequence requirements will be those in effect in the year in which she declares the major.

Note: During the junior year, each student must meet with a member of the "M" Center Academic Records staff to evaluate progress towards meeting general degree requirements and the requirements of her major. Another evaluation in the senior year is strongly advised.