How to Declare a Major

The procedure for changing or declaring your major is the same: simply visit your new major department’s office, and the staff will assist you in completing a Change of Major Petition in order for you to make your choice official.

Registration Process

All students should register for classes through the University's GOLD System.  GOLD can also be used to check for quarterly deadlines and changes to the registration process.

Students must complete all the prerequisites and obtain full-major status prior to enrolling in any upper-division Economics courses. Economics course prerequisites are enforced and no exceptions will be granted.

Students who are declared in other majors and need an upper-division Economics class can contact the Economics undergraduate office in 2121 North Hall prior to the beginning of the quarter.

The Change of Major Process

No course required for the major may be taken on a P/NP basis.

During the quarter you’re enrolled in your last pre-major class (usually Econ 10A, Econ 3B, and/or PStat 109), please stop by the economics undergraduate office in 2121 North Hall to complete a “change of major” petition. It’s important that you complete this form before the 8th week of the quarter or you will not be able to enroll in classes after your grades are released. The petition is available in our office; you do not need to bring it with you.

Here’s how the process works:

By completing this form, you are telling the department that you have completed the pre-major and are ready to move on to the full major of either Economics or Economics & Accounting. You need to complete this form even if you aren’t sure you’re going to make the 2.85 GPA so we know to check your grades at the end of the quarter. We obtain your grades at the end of each quarter and calculate your pre-major GPA to determine whether you have the 2.85 pre-major GPA needed to enter the full major. We can only give you access to upper-division classes once we confirm you have met all the requirements for the major. When you can sign up for upper division classes is determined by when grades are released, NOT your pass time. If you meet all the requirements, we sign the petition and clear you for the following upper-division classes based on the major you’re declaring:


Classes cleared:


100B, 140A and any upper-division elective only requiring 10A

Econ & Accounting:

100B, 136A and 137A only

Once you are cleared for the full major, you can sign up for these classes (and only these classes) via GOLD. Please do not email us and ask the department to clear you for other classes, as it is departmental policy to only clear you for these classes.

If you do not submit your change of major petition by the 8th week of the quarter, the undergraduate office will not process your petition into the full major until the following quarter. This means you will not be cleared for upper-division classes if you make it into the full major. Please pay attention to this deadline!

NOTE: You will not see your major change in GOLD for approximately 4-6 weeks, as it takes the Registrar’s Office approximately that long to process the paperwork. You are allowed to sign up for the classes mentioned above at this time because the economics department is allowing it. Once your major is changed in GOLD, you can enroll in any upper-division (UD) economics class in future quarters as long as you have fulfilled the prerequisites for that course.

The economics department signs you up for the departmental listserv when you become a full major. You will receive a notice to your umail account asking you to confirm membership in our listserv; please confirm this email. Being part of our listserv means you will receive notices of scholarships, internships, job postings, class changes, etc. This is how we communicate with our students! If you don’t like being part of our listserv after you try it, you can always unsubscribe. You may also want to like our Facebook page at “UCSB’s Department of Economics".

Questions about this process or the major can be sent to with your name and perm number included in the email.

Additional notes on declaring or changing your Major

If you are in junior standing (completed 90 or more units) and hope to change your major, first verify that you can complete your new major within the 200 unit limitation. An academic advisor in the College Advising Office can help you examine your options and help you stay on track for graduation.

Economics course prerequisites are enforced and no exceptions will be granted.

You may also have to submit an additional petition if:

  1. You have completed 135 or more units and are attempting to change your major. In this case, you may be asked to complete a Proposed Schedule for Graduation.
  2. You are proposing a double major. In this case, you must also complete a Memorandum of Understanding.