Major Declaration Policy to take place next year

Provost Thomas DiLorenzo speaks at the first University Senate meeting. Photo by Chester Beltowski/The Dakota Student.

A new policy was presented at the University Senate meeting Sept. 4 that aims to help students declare a major early in their academic careers in order to graduate in the intended four-year period.

According to the official Major Declaration Policy form, once a student with an undeclared major reaches 45 credits, an alert is sent to their Campus Connection account, telling them that they are close to 60 credits. Upon reaching 60 credits, a hold is placed on their account, keeping them from registering for the following semester until a major is declared.

“One of the things we’ve been working really hard on is ways to enhance students’ success,” Provost Thomas DiLorenzo said.

According to DiLorenzo, the decision to start advising students early on came from the discovery that there were students in their fourth year that were still undeclared majors.

According to the official enrollment report, in the spring 2014 semester there were 579 undergraduate students who were undeclared majors. Out of those students, 147 were into their fourth year.

“This policy is intended to help students who haven’t declared a major,” assistant professor of languages and chair of the University Senate, Melissa Gjellstad, said. “We want students to use our resources and graduate on a timeline.”

When asked if there’s a chance that some students will have a problem with this policy, Provost Dilorenzo said that he doesn’t think it’s controversial at all. “It’s just simply a way” to help students stay on track, he said.

“People still change majors,” Gjellstad said. “It’s not like they are being forced to graduate with the first major they choose.

According to the policy, even if a student reaches 60 or more credits, they still are allowed to retain or move to an undeclared status, but only with permission from the Student Success Center.

“I think it definitely could benefit students,” UND senior Ali Podoll said.

“It kind of sucks that they’re forcing students to make a decision they’re not ready to make, but it’s a good way to motivate students to get them to think about their major more,” junior Travis Lollar said.

“This is going to be a big year for UND with the introduction of some beneficial policies and resources,” Dilorenzo said.

According to DiLorenzo, a degree audit system will be unveiled “when it’s 99 percent accurate.” The system will be an enhanced version of the academic requirements currently found on Campus Connection.

The policy was approved by the University Senate and will begin in the fall 2015 semester, said Lisa Burger, assistant vice president of student academic services in the Student Success Center.

The full version of the policy can be viewed online at

Jamie Hutchinson is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected].