We are committed to helping every student find the right academic program best suited to his or her strengths, interests, and abilities. Baylor offers more than 140 majors at the undergraduate level. While the majority of these majors are open to any student offered admission to the university, there are a select few that have additional admission requirements.
1. What is a pre-major?
A pre-major is a collection of core course requirements that incoming students must complete prior to being designated as a full major. The material covered in these courses provide the foundation for more focused and detailed study as you progress through the major.
The following areas require pre-majors:
2. Why do I have to begin as a pre-major?
Starting as a pre-major serves several purposes. First, it allows you to develop a strong discipline-specific knowledge base before progressing onto more sophisticated concepts. Through this exposure, you are also better equipped to determine whether this major is the best fit for you academically.
Second, it provides a clear map for a student's sequence of courses, important for four-year graduation planning.
Finally, our institutional research shows that students who struggle in these early courses are likely to struggle throughout the duration of the major. A poor GPA can have long-term consequences in terms of your post-baccalaureate plans such as finding employment or gaining admission into graduate or professional school. Therefore, we want to provide that feedback very early in a student's college experience, in order to allow that student time to find a more suitable major here at Baylor.
3. How do you become a full major?
In order to become a full major, you must meet certain progression standards that are spelled out carefully in the undergraduate catalog. Examples of such requirements include:
4. What are the specific criteria for the major I am interested in?
Criteria vary considerably depending on the pre-major. See requirements listed under that major in our undergraduate catalog.
5. Where do I go for academic advisement as a pre-major?
The University Advisement office advises all pre-majors, with the exception of Pre-Engineering and Pre-Business II. This office works closely with all of the departments and schools which have pre-majors and can assist you with any academic decision-making related to what courses you should take and how to plan to graduate in four years. Once you are a full major, you will be seen by your college or school's advising office.
6. What if I don't meet the requirements to become a full major?
At Baylor, we are committed to your overall success and expect that most students who start as pre-majors will meet the requirements. In the event you don't meet the requirements to become a full major, you will be directed to declare another major, and if you haven't done so by the deadline of your pre-major timeline, your advisor will change your major to "BA Undecided." The Undergraduate Director or the Departmental Advisor will be available to meet with you to access/utilize campus resources (Advising, Career & Professional Development) that can help you find an academic major that is better suited to your interests, abilities and talents.
7. How does it work if I decide later (after being at Baylor for a semester or year) that I want to switch to one of these majors? Do I have to start as a pre-major?
Generally, yes. Whether you declare as an incoming freshman, change your mind after a few semesters or transfer to the university, you will mostly likely need to start as a pre-major. Demonstrating that you have the requisite knowledge is crucial to being successful in these majors. While it may seem inconvenient to start over as a pre-major, doing so will enable the long-term benefits of performing well and enjoying your academic experience. Once you are a student at Baylor, the advisors in University Advisement are the pre-major experts. Contact University Advisement to help you work through any transition you are considering.