/ Registrar's Office

Declaring a Major

Ready to declare your major? Learn how to do it below.

HELP WITH CHOOSING A MAJOR

Whether you are decided, undecided or somewhere in between, Hope offers a variety of resources to help you better understand yourself, clarify your goals and declare a major that is a great fit for you. We encourage you to talk through the major declaration decision with your academic advisor and to take advantage of the resources at the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career.

HOW TO DECLARE A MAJOR

You may declare a major after your first semester. For most majors, it is as simple as submitting a completed major declaration form to the academic department for chairperson approval. The approved form will then be sent to the Registrar’s Office to be applied to your record and your advisor will be changed. Some departments or majors have a few other requirements in addition to the form (see below). 

Paper copies of major and minor declaration forms are also available in the Registrar’s Office.

To undeclare a major or minor, simply fill out the appropriate declaration form and check the “Undeclare a major/minor” box on the form.

ART AND ART HISTORY

MAJORS

  • Art education
  • Art history
  • Art studio

PROCESS

Submit your major declaration form to the department assistant, Kristin Underhill, DePree Art Center 138, or to the department chairperson, Katherine Sullivan, DePree Art Center 146.

BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

PROCESS

Submit your major declaration form to the department assistant, Donna Sova, Schaap Science Center 3103, for program director approval.

BIOLOGY

MAJORS

  • Biology
  • Biology education

PROCESS

Submit your major declaration form to the department assistant, Jackie DeBoard, Schaap Science Center 2103.

CHEMISTRY

MAJORS

  • Chemistry
  • Chemistry education
  • Chemistry with biochemistry emphasis – ACS approved
  • Chemistry – ACS approved

PROCESS

Submit your major declaration form to the department assistant, Donna Sova, Schaap Science Center 3103, for department chairperson approval. You can discuss your options with a chemistry faculty member. 

COMMUNICATION

PROCESS

Submit your major declaration form to the department assistant, Linda Koetje, Martha Miller 107 or to the department chairperson, Choonghee Han, Martha Miller 122. Majors must complete an academic internship (Comm 399) during their junior or senior year and must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the major to qualify for the internship program.

COMPUTER SCIENCE

PROCESS

Submit your major declaration form to the department assistant, Cathy Stoel, VanderWerf 204.

DANCE

MAJORS

  • Dance dual major
  • Dance performance/choreography

PROCESS

Submit your major declaration form to the Department of Dance, 1st floor of the Dow Center.

ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS
  • Accounting
  • Accounting/business double major
  • Public accounting
  • Public accounting/business double major
  • Economics
  • Business
  • Business/economics double major

PROCESS

Submit your major declaration form to the Department of Economics and Business, 1st floor of Van Zoeren Hall.

EDUCATION

ELEMENTARY MAJORS

  • Comprehensive major with one of the following options:
    • Early childhood education
    • Spanish K–12*
    • Special education emotional impairments K–12
    • Special education learning disabilities K–12
  • English language arts
  • Integrated science
  • Mathematics*
  • Social studies

SECONDARY MAJORS

  • Biology*
  • Chemistry*
  • English*
  • French*
  • Geology/Earth science*
  • German*
  • Health and physical education*
  • History*
  • Integrated science
  • Latin*
  • Mathematics*
  • Music - instrumental*
  • Music - vocal*
  • Physics*
  • Social studies
  • Spanish*
  • Special education emotional impairments K–12
  • Special education learning disabilities K–12
  • Visual arts*

PROCESS

Submit your major declaration form to the Department of Education, 2nd floor of Van Zoeren Hall. It is recommended that you declare your major as soon as you determine it so that you can be advised by a faculty member within the department. Prior to being admitted to the education program, the department will have a list of requirements that need to be completed (one of which is submitting the major declaration form).

*These majors require approval from the subject's academic department. See that section of this page for details for declaring an education major in that subject.

ENGINEERING

MAJORS

  • Engineering science
  • Engineering – ABET approved (no concentration)
  • Engineering – ABET approved with one of the following concentrations:
    • Biochemical
    • Biomedical-bioelectrical
    • Biomedical-biomechanical
    • Chemical
    • Civil
    • Computer
    • Electrical
    • Environmental
    • Mechanical

PROCESS

Submit your major declaration with specified concentration, if applicable, to the Department of Engineering, VanderWerf 204.

ENGLISH

 MAJORS

  • English
  • English – writing emphasis
  • English – secondary education

PROCESS

Submit your major declaration form to the department assistant, Alison Lechner, Lubbers 338. In addition, email the department chairperson, Ernest Cole, to arrange a short meeting.

GEOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

 MAJORS

  • Environmental science with one of the following concentrations:
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Geology
  • Geology
  • Geology education

PROCESS

Submit your major declaration form to the department chairperson, Brian BodenbenderSchaap Science Center 2047. You can communicate with the chairperson if you have an advisor preference.

GLOBAL STUDIES

PROCESS

Submit your major declaration form to the prorgram director, Scott VanderStoep, VanZoeren 291.

HISTORY

MAJORS

  • History
  • History education

PROCESS

Submit your major declaration form to the department assistant, Alison Lechner, Lubbers 338.

KINESIOLOGY

MAJORS

  • Exercise science
  • Physical education K–12

PROCESS

Submit your major declaration form to the department chairperson, Kirk Brumels, DeVos Fieldhouse.

MATHEMATICS

MAJORS

  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics – elementary education
  • Mathematics – secondary education

PROCESS

Submit your major declaration form to the department chairperson, Stephanie EdwardsVanderWerf 218.

MUSIC

MAJORS

  • Music
  • Music education – instrumental
  • Music education – vocal
  • Music performance
  • Music performance – jazz
  • Music performance – organ
  • Music Performance – piano
  • Music Performance – violin/viola
  • Music Performance – voice

PROCESS

In addition to submitting the major declaration form to the Department of Music, Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts, submit a brief statement about your goals and reasons for pursuing a music major.

NEUROSCIENCE

PROCESS

Submit your major declaration form to the prorgram director, Lindsey Root Luna, Schaap Science Center 1168.

NURSING

PROCESS

To declare a major in nursing, you must first be accepted into the nursing program. Admission to the nursing program occurs twice a year and application materials must be received by February 1 or October 1 to receive a response prior to registration for the following semester.

More information can be found on the Department of Nursing website. The office is located in Schaap Science Center 1112.

PHILOSOPHY

PROCESS

Submit your major declaration form to the department assistant, Elizabeth Bocks, Lubbers 226.

PHYSICS

MAJORS

  • Physics
  • Physics education
PROCESS

Submit your major declaration form to the department office, VanderWerf 204, or to the department chairperson, Jennifer Hampton, VanderWerf 217A. You may also indicate if you have an advisor preference.

POLITICAL SCIENCE

PROCESS

Submit your major declaration form to the department assistant, Elizabeth Bocks, Lubbers 226.

PSYCHOLOGY

 PROCESS

  1. Submit your major declaration form to the department assistant, Marcye Van Dyke, Schaap Science Center 1110.
  2. Complete the Psychology Major Interest Form and turn it in to Marcye.
  3. Attend a required major declaration meeting. Dates are listed on the Psychology Department website.
RELIGION

MAJORS

  • Religion
  • Religion – biblical studies
  • Religion – Christian history and theology
  • Religion – ethics, culture and social witness

PROCESS

Submit your major declaration form to the department assistant, Pamela Valkema, Lubbers 111, for approval from the department chairperson.

SOCIAL WORK – CSWE APPROVED

PROCESS

  1. Take SWK 241 – Introduction to Social Welfare.
  2. Maintain an overall GPA of 2.5 and a 2.7 GPA in first- and second-year social work required courses.
  3. Meet with a faculty member.
  4. Admission to the social work major occurs twice a year, the semester you are taking SWK 241. Social Work Major Application materials must be received by February 15 of your first year or October 15 of your second year.
  5. Admission to the program is not guaranteed.

More information about the program can be found on the department website. The office is located in Van Zoeren 261.

SOCIOLOGY

MAJORS

  • Sociology
  • Sociology – criminal justice emphasis

PROCESS

You are strongly encouraged to meet with a department faculty member prior to submitting your major declaration form to the Department of Sociology, Van Zoeren 261.

THEATRE

PROCESS

Submit your major declaration form to the Department of Theatre, 2nd floor of the DeWitt Center. Once declared, you will meet with your theatre advisor to complete a major contract.

WORLD LANGUAGES AND CULTURES

MAJORS

  • Classical studies
  • French education
  • Global French studies
  • German
  • German education
  • Japanese studies composite
  • Latin
  • Latin education
  • Spanish
  • Spanish education – K–12 (elementary track)
  • Spanish education – K–12 (secondary track)
  • Spanish education (secondary)

PROCESS

Submit your major declaration form to the Department of World Languages and Cultures, 2nd floor of Martha Miller.

WOMEN’S AND GENDER STUDIES

PROCESS

Set up a meeting with the program director, Carrie Bredow, Schaap 1160, to discuss the program prior to submitting a major declaration form.