Recommendation 2: Major Declaration
GIF Task Force Recommendation
Progress Toward Recommendation
Related Recommendations from Retention & Timely Graduation Task Force

2) Require all students to declare a major by 60 hours.

The College Declaration of Major Policy was amended in 2007-08 to encourage undeclared or pre professional students in the College to make progress on this critical decision.

The Declaration of Major Statement indicates: Students should declare a major no later than the end of the first semester of the junior year (sometime between the completion of 45 and 60 credit hours).

Formal major declaration by students:


  • Improves the accuracy and completeness of undergraduate major records
  • Facilitates assignment of undergraduate majors to departmental advisors
  • Encourages timely contact between students and major departments
  • Makes the declaration of a major a more formal and significant engagement between the student and the department

Students may pick up a Declaration of Major form in the College Student Academic Services office (some departments also have the forms). Students should complete the form and turn it in to the department in which they wish to major. Once the department has endorsed the Declaration of Major, it must be returned to the College Student Academic Services office in 109 Strong Hall. (

Beginning Fall 2010, students with Interest Codes and meeting admission requirements for majors in CLAS will be required to attend an academic department orientation to remove an advising hold thereby ensuring earlier connections with the academic unit. This orientation pilot occurred in Spring 2010 and was successful.

In the fall 2003, 87% of all juniors and seniors had declared a major. By the fall of 2009, 90% of all juniors and seniors had declared a major. A similar increase is seen in juniors and seniors with more than 60 KU credit hours. In fall 2003, 90.9% of KU juniors and seniors with more than 60 KU crdit hours had declared a major. By fall 2009, that number had increased to 95.1%. Further information on major declaration trends of KU juniors and seniors can be found:


Recommendation 8: Develop an Integrated Advising Model to convey students across all thresholds (entering KU; adapting to University life; deciding on major field; transitioning to advising in the major; completing major requirements; graduating)


8A. Use University Advising Center to initiate student/advisor relationship

(i) Involve students in generating realistic plans


8B. Restructure current advising staff FTE's and current faculty service

(i) Identify problems and opportunities for more advising intervention
(ii) Train and purposefully select faculty advisors/mentors
(iii) Develop retention and graduation rate targets for each Academic Community Team


8C. Revise advice to students

(i) Emphasize multi-semester planning
(ii) Promote focus on graduation and long-term goals
(iii) Follow-up on initial term academic performance
(iv) Offer "prescriptive" degree maps, degree map milestones, & "What-if" degree maps


8D. Identify problematic points in student careers as indicated by performance data

(i) Track major and degree exploration
(ii) Review Graduation in Four midpoint progress
(iii) Monitor and intervene to promote timely declaration of major and/or admission to an academic program


8E. Develop decentralized professional advising teams to guide students in majors

(i) Place professional advisors in departments
(ii) Select best faculty advisors to meet the needs of majors


8F. Develop strong and frequent communication and coordination between professional advising staff and degree programs

(i) Provide frequent and meaningful information and feedback to students, staff and faculty about rules, options, performance, and progress toward degree
(ii) Provide both group and individual advising options, extending advising contact time

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