Student Success

Exploring Majors Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Degree Program (aka major)? What is a minor?

A degree program (also called a major) is a structured and sequenced set of courses and requirements leading to a degree at the undergraduate or graduate level. A minor is as secondary study option; in addition to your major which can enhance your academic and career experience. It requires fewer credit hours than your major.

How do I find my assigned advisor?

To find your assigned advisor, log onto MaineStreet and go to your Student Center page. On the right side column you will see a box labeled Advisor. By clicking on details you can access your advisor’s email address. Or you can call the Student Success Centers at 780-5652 (Gorham), 753-6536 (Lewiston) or 207-780-4040 (Portland).

Can I get a degree in Undeclared?

No, you cannot get a degree in undeclared. You can be undeclared while you explore majors. Check out your USM Catalog to see all of the degree programs from which you can choose.

How do I declare a major?

Discuss with your advisor which major you plan to pursue. Check your catalog to make sure you have met any prerequisite or grade point average requirements, and you and your advisor will complete a Declaration of Major form. You then take this form to the department of your selected degree program.

Can I declare a minor while I am undeclared?

Yes you can! Make sure you consult your USM Catalog to see the programs that offer minors. Check your catalog, and inform your advisor of any minor you are interested in. It may simply be a matter of filling out a Minor Application form.

How long can I be undeclared?

Discuss with your advisor which major you plan to pursue. Check your catalog to make sure you have met any prerequisite or grade point average requirements, and you and your advisor will complete a Declaration of Major form. You then take this form to the department of your selected degree program.

What if I declare a major and later change my mind?

Please see and follow the directions on How do I declare a major?

Am I blocked from some classes because of my undeclared status?

Some classes are designated for students within a particular major. Check your USM Catalog, the current semester schedule, or the Course Search from the MaineStreet Web site to find out if you are eligible to take a class you are interested in.

How do I learn more about majors I'm interested in?

Talk to other students and faculty teaching within the major, your advisor, or visit a Student Success Center to learn more about major opportunities.

I want to talk with someone working in a field I'm interested in, how do I do that?

Contact your professors, advisors, friends, family, or a Student Success Center to ask if they know anyone working in a specific field. Once you have a contact, call that person and ask for an informational interview.