Assurance of progress to degree after 60 Credits

Assurance of progress to degree after 60 credits policy

The College of Science and Health (CSH) is committed to student success and completion of a baccalaureate degree in a timely manner. Students must have a declared academic major1 after the completion of 60 credits. For programs requiring an application for admission, students must be admitted to that program or have a qualifying second major2 after the completion of 60 credits. Students who do not meet this requirement will (1) have an advising hold placed on their registration for the next semester; (2) be required to make an appointment with staff in the College of Science and Health Academic Services Office to discuss plans for degree completion and to request removal of the advising hold.

1 The undeclared major is not an academic major.
2 A qualifying second major will not have a competitive application process.


Frequently Asked Questions:

What does this policy mean? expanding section

Each semester, students with over 60 credits who do not have a major, or are not yet admitted to their Competitive Admission major, will be identified and contacted if they do not have a qualifying, non-competitive major or 2nd major. An advising hold will be placed on the student’s registration until they have declared a qualifying major/2nd major or have met with a CSH staff member.

Why is this being implemented? expanding section

We understand the challenging situations student sometimes face, and, that picking a major or getting into some programs is not always as easy as one might think. But we are here to help, so please contact the College of Science and Health (CSH) Academic Services office (608.785.8218) at any point of your academic career. But, if you wait too long, we will get in touch with you!

The CSH wants to avoid the unfortunate scenario where a student reaches their Senior Year and has not settled on a viable academic major, or, has not been admitted to their chosen Competitive Admission major. So, each semester, we will identify students who have completed over 60 credits and are still undeclared or are not yet admitted to their Competitive Admission major who have not declared a qualifying 2nd major. Our plan in reaching out is to:

    • Connect with students who may not be on a clear path to degree completion, 
    • Provide guidance and discuss alternative pathways,
    • Encourage students to declare a qualifying, non-competitive major or 2nd major.

Everyone can agree that a key priority for Juniors and Seniors who are still undeclared is for them to settle on a major in preparation for graduation. And similarly, Juniors and Seniors seeking entry to competitive admission majors ought to have well-reasoned plans for what to do in case they are denied admission. We have this policy to aid students who are in these two different situations. 

Does this mean I have to change my major? expanding section

No, not necessarily, but a significant change in direction might be what you decide to do. Our goal is to determine if you have a viable pathway to degree completion, and the result of our checking-in with you could lead in a variety of directions. For example, determining a candidate's viability for entry to a competitive admission major can be fairly complicated. When we meet with a student in this situation, we want to discuss a number of things, including their level of commitment to their chosen major and their academic status (e.g., grades in key courses, GPA's). Where non-academic criteria are involved, it is important to gauge the student's preparation with these outside-of-class factors. After a thorough review, it may be fairly clear that the student may be optimistic about their chances for program admission. However, there might be cases where potential for admission is less clear. In such cases, we might suggest a follow-up with the student's faculty advisor, major program director, career services, or that they pursue some other career building activity. 

I do have a 2nd major I would like to declare [or I am currently undeclared and wish to declare my major]. How do I do this? expanding section

You may use the online Change of Program/Plan form. You may add any “qualifying 2nd major” using this form. (See FAQ  So, what is a "qualifying 2nd majors?")

What if my 2nd major is ALSO a Competitive Admission Major? expanding section

Sometimes students have a very reasonable backup plan but that major ALSO has an admission process. Yes, you would be able to work toward and apply to that field, but then would be asked to list yet ANOTHER non-competitive-admission major.

So, what IS a “qualifying 2nd major?” expanding section

A qualifying 2nd major does not have an admission process. Most programs that have an admission process need to be declared as a “1st major only” and therefore, could not be declared anyway (and that also defeats the purpose of this policy). BUT, you might be interested in other majors in the College of Science and Health, the College of Liberal Studies, or the School of Arts and Communication, most of which CAN be added as a 2nd major. Majors in the College of Business Administration or the School of Education cannot be listed as 2nd majors. [See the FAQ about what to do if you truly want one of these as your parallel plan.]

I haven’t even applied to my Major yet – why do I have to already have a parallel plan? expanding section

Due to the nature of some of the programs listed above, students might first apply as a junior. Still, by the time you have been in classes for several semesters, you have had time to consider other exciting areas of study and would be asked to indicate what those fields might be.

I am only in my 2nd year of college but have Junior standing because of my high school and AP credits. Why do I need to already declare a 2nd field? expanding section

Please let us know that is your situation, but also please realize that you might be approaching the time when knowing what your parallel plan is. It is not too soon to be exploring fields of interest.

I just applied to my professional program and am waiting to hear. Do I have to declare a 2nd major now? expanding section

Some programs select their classes just once a year. Depending on your program, we can wait until the Program Admissions have been decided. Please contact our office if this is your situation by calling 608.785.8218.

I have NO IDEA what my 2nd major might be! Who can help? expanding section

The Academic Advising Center (1140 Centennial) is a good resource for exploration of possible areas of study. Your exploration process might confirm the path of your current interests or uncover a completely new realm of careers.

I’ve declared a 2nd major – how to I get advising in that area? expanding section

Since the major now will show on your Advising Report (AR), you will be able to see courses required. You should also consult the catalog for course prerequisites and a sample layout of requirements. You may consult the chair or faculty of that Department if you have questions about requirements.

My parallel plan would be in the College of Business [or School of Education], but above, it says that I cannot declare that as a 2nd major. What can I do? expanding section

If you have explored areas in Business or Education, then please let our office know that you have that interest and are actively seeking information on courses required and admission requirements. We will make a note in our files that you are aware of the processes involved.

I have selected Psychology as my parallel plan, but I’ve heard that there are steps to declare Psychology as a 1st or 2nd major. expanding section

Yes, students with LESS THAN 75 credits earned may complete the following process to explore and potentially declare the Psychology major or 2nd major:

What happens if I ignore the advising hold? expanding section

You will be unable to register for classes until the advising hold has been released.

I want to meet with someone in the College of Science and Health to discuss my situation. How can I make an appointment? expanding section

You may call 608.785.8218 during business hours and ask to schedule an appointment with an advisor.

How can I assess my potential for admission to a competitive major? expanding section

Speak with your assigned faculty advisor or the program director for your intended major. Also, review application information and instructions found on the website of your intended major. Consider your level of academic achievement in light of the academic requirements for admission. If there are non-academic requirements—for example, job shadows, a resume, or interviews—gauge your preparations as positively and realistically as possible.