Pre-MajorsAt Baylor, we are committed to helping every student find the right academic program best suited to his or her strengths, interests, and abilities.
Students are required to meet certain requirements under the pre-major status in the following programs:
- Biology (all concentrations in the BA and BS degrees)
- Film and Digital Media
- Medical Humanities
- Psychology (BA and BS)
- Social Work
What is a pre-major?
A pre-major is a collection of core course requirements that incoming students must complete prior to being admitted as a major. The material covered in these courses provide the foundation for more focused and detailed study as you progress through the major.
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.
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:
- Completing certain courses by a certain point in time (eg., 30 hours)
- Making certain grades in specific courses (eg., a "B" or better in FDM 1304)
- Earning certain cumulative GPA (eg., 2.7) by a certain point in time
What are the specific criteria for the major I am interested in?
These vary considerably depending on the pre-major. See requirements listed under that major in our Undergraduate Catalog.
Where do I go for academic advisement as a pre-major?
University Advisement advises all pre-majors, with the exception of Pre-Engineering, Pre-Education, Pre-Business II, Pre-Business Internal Transfers over 29 hours, and Pre-Business External Transfers. 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.
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 major will change to "BA Undecided." Undergraduate Advisement advisors will be available to meet with you to access/utilize campus resources (i.e. Career & Professional Development) that can help you find an academic major that is better suited to your interests, abilities, and talents.
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 most likely need to start as a pre-major. Demonstrating that you have the requisite knowledge is crucial to being successful in these major. 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 them to help you work through any transition you are considering.