Applicants may request major changes from December 1 through December 31 for freshmen, and through January 31 for transfer applicants. Immediately following the release of admission decisions, applicants may request changes. Major change requests will be considered through the end of May for freshmen and the end of June for transfers. After that time, students may request to discuss a major change with an advisor during their Orientation session “Schedule Lab.”

The Office of Admissions cannot process major changes at these times:

  • During the months of October, November;
  • After December 31 until admission decisions are released for freshmen applicants;
  • After January 31 until admission decisions are released for transfer applicants;
  • While an applicant is on the waitlist or appealing their admission decision;
  • Once a student registered for courses OR, a student's admission materials and final transcripts have been verified and the student's first degree audit has been prepared. Students are notified via email when the degree audit has been prepared and is available to view; Or, once the Fall quarter has begun.

 

Major Changes for Current Students

Note: This page is for incoming UCSB students only. Continuing UCSB students should follow the instructions found on the college website of the major they wish to pursue:

Admitted Students

After Admission decisions are released, admitted freshmen may request a major change with Admissions through the end of May, admitted transfers through the end of June. Applicants on the waitlist or appealing their admission decision are not permitted to change majors.

Transfer student major changes are prohibited after the completion of the Admissions process into any Engineering, Mathematics, Biology, Economics or Physics majors.

Major changes into Dance or Music (B.M) require an audition and department approval. Major changes into the College of Creative Studies require a supplemental application and faculty support.

 

Enrolling Students (post-SIR)

Incoming students can speak to an academic advisor from their college at the “Schedule Lab” portion of their Orientation session. If a student does not attend Orientation or if they want to make a major change after their Orientation session has passed, they will have one additional opportunity at “Advising Day,” and thereafter will need to make any major change request directly with the major department.

Once the fall quarter has started, students should contact the academic department they wish to switch to for assistance. Major changes are not guaranteed.

Change of Major Instructions

If you wish to change your major to an open major (listed below), send an email with your request to admissions@ucsb.edu.

Your email MUST include the following:

  • The subject line should read "Major Change Request."
  • Include your full legal name and Application I.D. number or UCSB Perm number.
  • State your current major and the major into which you wish to change.
  • If spring coursework is in progress, include a list of all fall grades and a list of courses in progress.
  • If summer has begun, send the request with a copy of your final transcript.

Change of major requests may take up to two weeks to process. For College of Engineering majors, a change request may take more than two weeks (see below). If approved, major change requests will be reflected in your Applicant Portal.

Special Instructions for Majors that are not Open

 

College of Letters and Science

Biology majors include Aquatic Biology B.S., Biochemistry-Molecular Biology B.S., Biological Sciences B.A. or B.S., Cell and Developmental Biology B.S., Ecology and Evolution B.S., Microbiology B.S., Pharmacology B.S., Physiology B.S., and Zoology B.S.

Transfer students may not change to the biology majors listed above. Admission to the pre-biological sciences major was granted based on a screening for major preparatory coursework. Further information about biological sciences may be obtained from the biological sciences undergraduate advisors at bioadv@lifesci.ucsb.edu.

Auditions are required. Further information about the dance major may be obtained from the undergraduate advisor at (805) 893-3241 or by visiting their website.

Transfer students may not change to an economics major. Admission to all pre-economics majors is granted based on a screening for major preparatory coursework at the time of application. Students who attend UC Santa Barbara may seek advising directly from the Department of Economics after arrival on campus. However, transferring into the department is selective and based on a prescribed set of conditions.

Transfer students may not change to a mathematics major. Admission to all pre-mathematics majors is granted based on a screening for major preparatory coursework at the time of application. Students who attend UC Santa Barbara may seek advising directly from the Department of Mathematics after arrival on campus. However, transferring into the department is selective and based on a prescribed set of conditions.

Auditions are required. Further information may be obtained from the undergraduate advisor at music@ucsb.edu or by visiting their website.

Physics majors include Physics, B.A. and Physics, B.S.

Transfer students may not change to the Physics majors listed above. Admission to Physics majors was granted based on a screening for major preparatory coursework. Further information about physics may be obtained from the physics undergraduate advisors at advisors@physics.ucsb.edu.

 

College of Engineering

The limited number of spaces available in the College of Engineering make it extremely rare for a request to change to an engineering major to be approved. If you still wish to request to change your major to an engineering major, send an email with your request to admissions@sa.ucsb.edu. Please include your fall term grades and a listing of the courses in which you are currently enrolled. The subject line should read "Major Change Request.”

Please note: This is for pre-matriculation major change requests only. Current UCSB students should contact the College of Engineering directly.

 

College of Creative Studies

You may not change your major to a College of Creative Studies major unless the College of Creative Studies has notified you of acceptance. If you have been notified of acceptance to the College of Creative Studies, you may follow the “Change of Major Instructions” above.

Open Majors in the College of Letters and Science

* = Admitted to pre-major status until prerequisites are satisfied
^ = Contact department for available concentrations

All majors lead to a B.A. unless otherwise noted.

 

Majors

  • Actuarial Science (B.S.)
  • Anthropology
    • With optional emphases in:
      • Archaeology
      • Biological
      • Cultural
  • *Applied Mathematics (B.S.) (For freshmen only)
  • Art
  • Asian American Studies
  • Asian Studies
  • *Biochemistry (B.S.)
  • *Biological Sciences (B.A. or B.S.) (For freshmen only) 
    • Majors available after satisfying the pre-major:
      • Aquatic Biology
      • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      • Cell and Developmental Biology
      • Ecology and Evolution
      • Microbiology
      • Pharmacology
      • Physiology
      • Zoology
  • *Biopsychology (B.S.)
  • Black Studies
  • *Chemistry (B.A. or B.S.)
  • Chicana and Chicano Studies
  • ^Chinese
  • Classics
    • Select an emphasis:
      • Classical Archaeology
      • Classical Language and Literature
      • Greek and Roman Culture
  • *Communication
  • Comparative Literature
    • Select an emphasis:
      • Foreign Language
      • Interdisciplinary
  • *Earth Science (B.A.)
  • *Earth Science (B.S.)
    • Select an emphasis:
      • Climate and Environment
      • Geohydrology
      • Geology
      • Geophysics
      • Paleobiology
  • *Economics (For freshmen only)
  • *Economics and Accounting (For freshmen only)
  • English
  • Environmental Studies (B.A. or B.S.)
  • Feminist Studies
  • Film and Media Studies
  • *Financial Mathematics and Statistics (B.S.)
  • French
  • Geography (B.A.)
    • With optional emphasis in: 
      • Geographical Information Science
  • Geography, Physical (B.S.)
    • With optional emphasis in: 
      • Ocean Science

Majors

  • German
  • Global Studies
  • History
  • History of Art and Architecture
    • With optional emphasis in:
      • Architecture and Environment
      • Museum Studies
  • History of Public Policy and Law
  • ^Hydrologic Sciences and Policy (B.S.)
    • Select an emphasis:
      • Biology and Ecology
      • Physical and Chemical
      • Policy
  • Italian Studies
  • Japanese
  • Language, Culture and Society
  • Latin American and Iberian Studies
  • Linguistics
    • With optional emphases in:
      • Chinese
      • English
      • French
      • German
      • Japanese
      • Language and Speech Technologies
      • Slavic
      • Spanish
      • Speech-Language Sciences and Disorders
  • *Mathematics (B.A. or B.S.) (For freshmen only)
  • Medieval Studies
  • Middle East Studies
  • ^Music Studies
    • With optional emphases in:
      • Ethnomusicology
      • Interdisciplinary Studies of Music
      • Western Art Music
  • ^Philosophy
  • Physics (B.A. or B.S.) (For freshmen only)
  • *Political Science
  • Portuguese
  • *Psychological and Brain Sciences (B.S.)
  • Religious Studies
  • Russian and East European Studies
  • *Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Statistics and Data Science (B.A. or B.S.)
  • ^Theater (B.A.)
    • Concentrations available after enrollment:
      • Design
      • Directing
      • Playwriting
      • Theater and Community
      • Theater and Performance Studies
  • Undeclared (Letters & Science) (For freshmen only)