Thinking About a Major

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Your major will be one field of study that you find particularly interesting and intellectually challenging, and that you explore in great depth. The college offers 40 majors and gives you until the end of your sophomore year to make your choice. Most students declare their major at that time and not before; all first-years start as undecided/undeclared students. Don't fret if you remain undecided for a while, but use your first semester at Cornell to begin exploring your options.

Most majors have prerequisites (one or more courses required before you enter the major, and designed to help you test your interest and strength in that field of study). Use department websites listed below to check course offerings and prerequisites, or suggested introductory courses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I complete more than one major in the College of Arts & Sciences?

Yes, but the college only requires that you complete one major to earn your degree.

Can I complete a second major in one of the other colleges at Cornell?

The only way to do so is through the "concurrent degree" program between Arts & Sciences and Engineering or Architecture, Art & Planning. This is a five-year program for which you can apply at the end of your first year. Most minors offered by the other colleges can be completed by Arts & Sciences students.

Do I have to select a major directly related to my intended career path?

No.  The major that you select should be based upon your interest in the topic and your ability to succeed in the classes within that particular major.  Students from the College of Arts & Sciences have varied career experiences upon leaving Cornell, regardless of major.  Each year, the College publishes a report on post-graduate outcomes, both for the College as a whole, and by major. 

*Please note that international students should consult the Arts & Sciences Career Development Center and the International Student & Scholars Office for guidance on career and major selection, as some restrictions may apply based upon their visa type.    

Next: Degree requirements