Majors and Minors

The regulations for admission to, and the maintenance of, an academic major at Franklin & Marshall College are as follows:

1.  A student must submit to the Registrar a major declaration form, approved by the chairperson of the department, in which the student chooses to major, preferably by the end of the second semester of the sophomore year.

2.  A department may refuse a student admission to “regular” major status or dismiss a student from “regular” major status only in the following circumstances:

          a.  If, after the end of the sophomore year, the student has not taken courses in the department, or has failed to attain a grade point average of at least 2.00 in those courses within the major.

          b. If the student has failed to meet other clearly defined academic criteria, approved by the Educational Policy Committee, for admission to or continuance in the major in the department.

          c. A maximum of eighty-five (85) students from any class may declare a major in Business, Organizations, and Society.

3.  Departments will establish a “provisional major” category to which students are assigned when their circumstances fit the situations outlined in Item 2. The department chairperson notifies the Registrar when a student is made a “provisional” major or is granted regular major status. If a student fails to satisfy departmental criteria for major status after one semester as a “provisional” major, the student may be dropped as a major by departmental action.

4.  A student is permitted to continue in College for one semester without a major after having been dismissed from a major.

5.  Appeals from students concerning their major status may be made to the Committee on Academic Status.

Special Studies Major Program

The rules governing the Special Studies major program include the following:

  1. A student must prepare a proposal that includes a succinct but accurate title for the major, a brief description and a list of courses, including course numbers and names and grades in any courses already taken. The proposal must also include a rationale for proposing a Special Studies major instead of a double or Joint Major or a major/minor combination.
  2. Courses must include at least five courses from one department/program, five divided between two other departments/programs and a one-semester course, SPC 490. Courses may include additional research (490) courses, Directed Readings and pre-approved courses taken at other institutions, including study abroad courses. The total number of courses may not exceed 16.
  3. The proposal must also include the signatures of a primary adviser, a secondary adviser and the official academic adviser to Special Studies majors. The primary adviser is usually a member of the department/program in which five or more courses are taken.
  4. When the proposed major intersects with programs such as Africana Studies, International Studies, Comparative Literary Studies, Science, Technology and Society, or Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, the major should be designed in consultation with that program and approved by the program chairperson.
  5. A student must submit a copy of the approved proposal and a course projection sheet to the Registrar’s Office.
  6. Changes to the original major proposal, including course substitutions, must be approved by all of the student’s major advisers.
  7. Students in the Special Studies program can, if they have an outstanding academic record, pursue Academic Honors by writing a formal thesis and submitting to an oral examination by a committee of at least three voting faculty members. Such students are subject to the rules governing departmental or program honors.
  8.  A student who has declared a Special Studies major may not apply more than three courses from that major toward a second major or minor.

Interested students should consult Dr. Kimberly Armstrong, associate dean of the faculty, who is the official academic adviser to Special Studies majors.

Joint Major 

about the content of the rationale are provided on the application form.A Joint Major is a group of courses from two departments/programs and requires a rationale and the approval of both departments/programs and the Associate Dean of the Faculty. Each of the component majors must be represented by eight distinct course credits, so that the Joint Major consists of sixteen distinct courses.

The following rules govern Joint Majors:

  1. A Joint Major must be approved by both programs or departments and by the associate dean of the faculty, Dr. Kimberly Armstrong.
  2. Students must submit a projection form to the Registrar’s Office from each department or program. The student must provide a rationale* for the Joint Major.
  3. Changes to the original major proposal, including course substitutions, must be approved by both of the student’s major advisers.
  4. Students who have declared a Joint Major may not apply more than three courses from that major toward a second major or minor.
  5. At least one of the departments/programs combined in the Joint Major must offer its own major.

*Additional details about the content of the rationale are provided on the application form.

Optional Minor

The regulations for admission to an academic minor at Franklin & Marshall College are:

  1. Students may elect to pursue a minor in any department or program offering an approved minor program.
  2. Approved minor programs consist of six course credits arranged by a department or program to constitute an integrated, cumulative academic experience.
  3. Minors should be declared before the beginning of the senior year.
  4. All courses in the minor must be taken for standard grades, and the student must pass all six course credits with at least a 2.00 grade point average overall.
  5. At least four of the minor courses must be taken at Franklin & Marshall College.
  6. A student may officially declare only one minor.
  7. To declare a minor, a student consults with the designated department or program chairperson and submits a minor declaration form to the Registrar’s Office.
  8. A student who has declared a Special Studies major may not apply more than three courses from that major toward a minor.
  9. A student who has declared a Joint Major may not apply more than three courses from that major toward a minor.