on Majors and Minors
a Major • Departmental DUS • Major
in A&S • Major in Engineering •
Interdisciplinary Major • Changing
Majors or Advisers • Double Majors •
Restrictions for Double Majors • Double
Natural Sciences Major • Eng Majors with Second
Major in A&S • Declaring a Minor
Students must declare a major by the end of their
second year in order to assure that they will complete requirements for
graduation in four years.
Directors of Undergraduate Studies
For every major and minor that is offered
at Johns Hopkins, there is a faculty member or their designee who serves
as the program’s director of undergraduate studies. They are available
to answer questions about their major(s) and/or minor(s). The directors
also assign faculty advisors to students who declare a major or minor.
The directors of undergraduate studies can be valuable sources of information
about the requirements for the major or minor, its suitability for the
student, and the courses that a student should take during the first
here for a list of Undergraduate Department Coordinators and Open Advisers
a Major in Arts and Sciences [Top]
Students who enter the Krieger School of
Arts and Sciences from high school may indicate an intended major on
the advising materials sent to them over the summer. However, they will
be advised by the Office of Academic Advising during the freshman year
and are classified as pre-majors. In April, freshmen in Arts and Sciences
will meet with an academic advisor to declare their major. To declare
a major at a later time, see “Changing Majors or Advisors.”
a Major in Engineering [Top]
Students who enter the Whiting School of
Engineering (WSE) declare a specific engineering major on their application
for admission. A student must take direct action to change the major.
Students who select the Biomedical Engineering
major must be accepted into the program at the time of application
for admission. The student’s offer of admission to the university
will indicate either:
into the BME program
- acceptance into any Engineering or Arts & Sciences
major except BME
On a space available basis, BME may accept a limited
number of students into the program after the freshman year based on
the overall academic credentials of each applicant. However, this option
is exercised very infrequently by the BME department.
Students may also select the more general “undecided
engineering” category on the admissions application to enter
the WSE. It is recommended that undecided engineering students select
a specific major no later than the end of freshman year.
Students in the humanities and social
sciences who wish to design their own major, or who wish to divide
their studies between departments, may be able to create their
own program by following the requirements for an interdisciplinary
major. The interdisciplinary major is designed for the student
whose academic interests straddle several traditional disciplines
but who maintains a substantive focus. For example, a student interested
in the Revolutionary period may construct a curriculum using courses
from History, English, History of Art, and Sociology. Another may
wish to focus on children in poverty, drawing from Anthropology
and Economics. Proposals for the interdisciplinary major should
be submitted at the end of the sophomore year. Though rarely a
viable option, engineering students who want to pursue an interdisciplinary
major as a second major must follow the same guidelines.
This major requires the support of a faculty advisor
and the approval of the Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee. A student
wishing to complete this major must work with a full-time faculty member
from the Homewood campus to construct a curricular plan of past and future
course work. This plan should offer a list of courses representing 45
to 60 credits. These courses can include all related prerequisites and
related courses, such as language study. Independent study, research,
and internships may be included. Twenty-one of these credits must be
earned at the 300-level or higher. Courses from the School of Engineering
are not permitted, except by petition.
The written proposal should show how each of these courses
provides insight on a given topic, concept, issue, time period, etc.
There is no need to defend the principle of interdisciplinary study,
as that is a given, but the student must show that the courses from two
or more departments represent a conceptual whole.
After receiving approval from a sponsoring faculty advisor,
the student then works with Dean John Bader in the Office of Academic
Advising to finalize the proposal and to present it to the Curriculum
Committee, consisting of faculty and undergraduates, who must approve
the proposal by majority vote. After approval, the student continues
to work with the faculty advisor and Academic Advising to oversee completion
Majors or Advisers [Top]
Once students in Arts and Sciences have declared a major, they
may change their major or their faculty advisor at a later date by completing
a Change of Major form available from the Office of the Registrar (75
Garland) or the Office of Academic Advising (Garland, Suite 3A) and submitting
the new form to the Office of the Registrar.
After students in Engineering have enrolled at Hopkins, they may change
their major or their faculty advisor by completing a Change of Major
form available from the Office of the Registrar (75 Garland) or the Office
of Engineering Advising (126 NEB). Note that students may declare the
BME major only as entering freshmen or as one of a limited number of
students accepted into the program after the freshman year based on the
overall academic credentials of each applicant and on space available.
Completion of the Change of Major form requires
that a student contact the director of undergraduate studies in the
new major department to be assigned a new faculty advisor. The completed
Change of Major form should be submitted to the Registrar’s office.
Students may fulfill the requirements for
more than one major. Students may add or drop a second major by completing
the appropriate form, available from the Registrar or from the student’s
academic advising office. The form must be signed by the Director of
Undergraduate Studies (DUS) for the major before it is submitted to the
Registrar. The DUS will also assign a faculty advisor to the student.
Upon graduation, a notation is placed on the academic
record acknowledging completion of requirements for the additional
major(s). A student with a double major receives the degree (B.A./B.S.)
associated with the student’s primary major. Completing a second
major does not entitle the student to a second degree. When completing
a double major, students need only satisfy the distribution requirements
of one of the majors.
Applying to Double Majors [Top]
Generally there are no restrictions on double
counting courses to satisfy the requirements of multiple majors and/or
minors. The exceptions are found in the Behavioral Biology, Psychological
and Brain Sciences, and Neuroscience programs where there are restrictions
on double-counting courses from other science majors or minors.
Majors with a Natural Sciences Area Major
Only courses that fulfill the lower-level
distribution requirements (15 H and S credits, including 100- and 200-level
courses) for the Natural Sciences Area majors may be used to fulfill
the requirements of a second major or a minor. The second program must
be outside the natural sciences and be approved by the area major advisor.
Students with a Second Major in Arts and Sciences
Engineering students who
complete a second major in the School of Arts and Sciences must complete
12 credits of writing intensive courses, at least 3 credits of which
must be taken in the School of Arts and Sciences.
Students who wish to complete the requirements
for a minor in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences should declare
their intentions to the minor department. Forms for that purpose are
available in the Office of Academic Advising, Garland, Suite 3A. Students
wishing to complete a minor in an engineering department should see the
director of undergraduate studies in the academic department or Center
sponsoring the minor. A notation regarding completion of a minor is placed
on the transcript, but the minor does not appear on the diploma.
Official recognition with notation on the academic
record is not given for completion of majors or minors at other divisions
of the university or at other colleges.