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Changes to Major or Degree Objective

Change of Major & Multiple Majors

To initiate a change of major or to add another major, the student should complete the Petition for Change of Graduate Major, Degree Objective, Multiple Graduate Majors, or Multiple Degree Objectives (GS301). Contact information for Graduate Advisors and Graduate Program Coordinators are available on the People section of the appropriate graduate program page.  

  1. Fill the petition, noting whether the student will complete the current major, and selecting the appropriate change box(es).
  2. Obtain the signature of the current major Graduate Advisor.
  3. Obtain the signature of the Graduate Admissions Advisor in the new program.
  4. Obtain the signatures of the Graduate Program Coordinators in both the current and new program.
  5. Once the form is completed and signed, one of the Graduate Program Coordinators will submit the form to their Graduate Studies Senior Academic Advisor for review and processing.  

Considerations for Changing Majors

  • Programs may require students seeking change majors to complete prerequisite coursework and/or to submit admissions materials (statement of purpose, writing sample, letters of recommendation, etc.).
  • Students changing majors should work with the new major Graduate Program Chair or a Graduate Advisor to create an academic plan including: remaining coursework requirements, connecting with a major professor, examinations, and options for funding/employment.  
  • Students changing majors must complete all degree requirements for the new major program, exceptions to some requirements may be made at the discretion of the new major program.
  • Changing majors resets a students normative time to degree, but does not reset cumulative TA/GSR quarters (i.e. a student who has been a GSR for 6 quarters and then changes majors, will only have 15 quarters of GSR remaining).  

Considerations for Multiple Majors

  • Programs may require students seeking to add a major to complete prerequisite coursework and/or to submit admissions materials (statement of purpose, writing sample, letters of recommendation, etc.).
  • Students adding majors must complete all degree requirements for all major programs, exceptions to some requirements may be made at the discretion of the program Graduate Chairs.
  • Students may share up to 12 units from one UC Davis program with another, provided they have approval of their graduate advisor and the Dean of Graduate Studies.
  • To meet the Graduate Studies residency requirements, students must spend at least two quarters in regular graduate standing in their second master’s program.
  • The student must complete a separate dissertation, thesis, or examination in accordance with the approved degree requirements for each program. 
  • If a student is already in two major programs, and is seeking to add a third major, they must submit two Petitions for Change.  

Students in self-supporting master's degree programs and professional students

  • Students currently enrolled in a self-supporting master’s degree program may be approved for a double major, but they will be charged tuition and fees for both programs.
  • In the case of a double major with a professional degree, it is the student’s responsibility to notify Graduate Studies when he/she has completed his/her professional degree. Upon completion of the professional degree, Graduate Studies will change the student’s primary curriculum to reflect the academic graduate degree.
  • Professional students seeking to add an academic major must complete a graduate admissions application, including all required materials – application fee, letters of recommendation, and official transcripts of record along with the Petition to Change Graduate Major, Degree Objective, or for Double Graduate Major.

Change of Degree Objective or Multiple Degree Objectives

Students who want to change their degree objective or add an objective within the same program must submit the Petition for Change of Graduate Major, Degree Objective, Multiple Graduate Majors, or Multiple Degree Objectives (GS301)

  1. Fill the petition, noting whether the student will complete the current objective, and selecting the appropriate change box(es).
  2. Obtain the signature of the student's Graduate Advisor.
  3. Obtain the signature of the student's Graduate Program Coordinator
  4. Once the form is completed and signed, the Graduate Program Coordinators will submit the form to their Graduate Studies Senior Academic Advisor for review and processing.  

Considerations for Changing or Adding Degree Objectives

  • Students adding the master's or PhD in their program should discuss completion the degree requirements for both objectives with their Graduate Advisor
  • Students adding a master's degree must not have a master's degree in the same field from another University.
    • If the student's previous master's degree is similar, but sufficient differences exist to indicate it is not a duplicate of the UC Davis master's degree, Graduate Advisors may submit a statement of support to Graduate Studies explaining the differences between the two degrees.