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Switching Majors Once Accepted to a UC

Congratulations to everyone who got into one of the UCs! Now, after the elation dies down, some of you are asking if you can switch majors. I always move forward from the belief that you should choose the major you want at the outset rather than try and crab sideways into one. But, for whatever reason, if you are looking to switch, here are the rules by campus.

You cannot transfer into a capped major. If you were accepted into the College of Letters and Science, you may switch to another L&S major, as long as it is not impacted.  Berkeley will still expect you to graduate within four semesters. If you wish to switch majors within another college, you need to talk to the folks in that department first. Note that once admitted to the College of Engineering, you cannot switch.

You can switch during the first quarter; if your choice is a selective major, it may be harder or impossible.

You mist file a petition to change majors. Some are prohibited (Arts and Business, for example).

Within Humanities and most of the social sciences, you usually can switch. Expect not to be able to switch into STEM and Arts. (The word on the street:  If in the same department, you may be  able to switch to an impacted.) You need to discuss with  a UCLA advisor at orientation.

Yes, as long as you fulfill the requirements for the major within a prescribed amount of time.

Yes, as long as you fulfill the requirements for the major within a prescribed amount of time.

Santa Barbara
Usually you can switch in Letters and Sciences; other colleges are harder.  You may possibly be able to transfer from one college to another if you get approval. It’s near impossible to transfer into Biological Sciences, Bus Econ or Econ, CS, or Engineering.

San Diego
It’s usually OK except for Bioengineering and Biotechnology. Sign into your portal to request a change.

Santa Cruz
You need approval from both the department and the college, and one of the things they will take into account is how long it will take you to graduate. Selective majors (CS, engineering, business, the usual suspects) are probably not an option.

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Lindy is an independent UC admissions consultant, who works with both transfers and freshmen. She also has just completed her first novel, a supernatural thriller set in San Francisco.

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