Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Academic Planning Guide


The Major

Like all Wheaton College students, you must complete an approved major, a sequence of courses in a single discipline or academic area. This sequence is designed to permit you to develop mastery in your chosen discipline or area.You must declare your major by the end of the second semester of your sophomore year.

At the moment you may not know what your major will be, or you may change your mind as you explore the Wheaton College curriculum. That is to be expected. You can and should use the first year to explore potential majors. In fact, even if you feel ready to declare a major during your first semester at Wheaton, you may not do so officially until your second semester.

The major may be fulfilled in a variety of ways at Wheaton College. Most students elect a traditional major by the end of the sophomore year from among more than 40 approved choices. Wheaton also offers a number of approved interdisciplinary majors, such as international relations, neuroscience, women's and gender studies, American studies, mathematics and economics, and religion and philosophy. The requirements for each of these majors are available on line:


As you plan for the fall semester, bear in mind that some majors benefit from an early start. If you have a potential major in mind, check here for course recommendations by major.

Many Wheaton students pursue careers in medical, dental or other health-related fields. Wheaton does not offer a "pre-med" or "pre-health" major, but the Wheaton curriculum does prepare students for those fields. Check here for course recommendations for students interested in pre-med/pre-health careers.

Before formally declaring a major, students must meet with a major advisor in the appropriate academic department or program to discuss their plans and to outline their major programs.

A student who has demonstrated exceptional academic achievement may propose an independent major, which is normally designed in collaboration with an advising committee comprised of faculty advisors from two or more academic departments.

Independent majors require the approval of the Provost, and must be declared by the end of the sophomore year. Interested students begin the process by meeting with Dean Steven Viveiros in the Filene Center for Academic Advising and Career Services.

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