The Major Field
Satisfactory completion of a major field is required. Most departmental programs require a minimum of 32 credits, but may include more. At the department’s discretion, up to 8 credits from related fields may be counted toward the major. The requirements for each major program are listed in the Courses of Study section of this catalog.
In the case of a double major, no credits are allowed to be shared with the other major. When a concentration and a major are related, up to 8 credits of work included in a student’s major may also be counted toward the interdisciplinary concentration.
Academic departments normally expect that the majority of courses constituting the major, and all required courses, will be completed at Grinnell. A course in the student’s major field cannot be elected for grading on the “S/D/F” basis. Any course elected for such grading before the student’s declaration of a major or interdisciplinary concentration does not count toward the minimum credit requirement for the major or concentration.
A student declares a major by preregistration for the fifth semester. The head of the department in which the major is declared, or a designated colleague, then becomes the student’s adviser. Most students choose a departmental or an interdepartmental major. However, a student may arrange a special program as an independent major or may be permitted a second major.
Students are held to the major requirements in effect at the time they declare their major. Since the completion of a major is one of the requirements for graduation, waiving any of the specifications of the major (required courses or course distributions) must be first approved by the department. Transfer courses may be counted towards the completion of the major if they are approved by the department and the department chair has officially notified the Office of the Registrar. A major cannot be completed out of residence.