University change helps students major across colleges

The University of Connecticut Senate recently approved a change in requirements to make it easier for undergraduate students to obtain two majors in two different colleges. (File photo/The Daily Campus)

The University of Connecticut Senate recently approved a change in requirements to make it easier for undergraduate students to obtain two majors in two different colleges, Professor Maureen Croteau, Department Head of the Journalism Department, said.  

Currently, if a student wants an additional major outside of his or her school or college, he or she would need to earn an additional 30 credits for a second degree and have two different degrees, English professor Veronica Makowsky said. The change would allow students to earn the degrees without the additional credits.

“The new system would allow a student to have a second major outside of their original school or college without the need to earn a second degree,” Makowsky said over email. “For example, if a student majored in history and engineering, that student would have to decide which major is primary and that would determine their degree, such as a BA or a BS.”  

Makowsky said this change does not eliminate all chances of needing extra credits, but it will still help students gain two majors.

“For some students, this may mean having to earn few or no additional credits beyond 120, but others would still need as many, or almost as many as 150; it depends on the requirements of the departments, and schools and colleges, for the majors that the student has chosen,” Makowsky said. “In general, this new system favors interdisciplinary, and specifically it would allow students to gain an additional major in a language alongside any other major at the university."

Makowsky said it is not clear when the change will go into effect.

“The change will not take place for another year and may be further delayed by the need to make radical changes in the student administration programming software...This is not available (for the 2018-2019 academic year),” Makowsky said.

Croteau said although these changes will take time to be placed, they will help numerous majors, including journalism.

“We have often had students in other schools and colleges who wanted to do a second major in journalism but couldn’t afford to spend an extra year to get an additional degree,” Croteau said.  “For a journalist, it’s important to have knowledge in a specialized area, as well as in journalism. Clearly, those areas extend outside the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.”

Croteau said students are already viewing the change positively.

“One student from the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources has already signed on as a journalism major. I expect there will be others as the change in policy becomes known,” Croteau said. “This is an exceptional opportunity for students outside of CLAS who can see themselves as journalists in their specialized fields. I hope this opens up new career avenues for them.”


Rachel Philipson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at rachel.philipson@uconn.edu.