Changing Majors

On campus there are 15 different engineering fields and over 100 majors to choose from! College is the time to explore your major and career options. You do not need to know what you want to do with the rest of your life right now. We’re here to help guide you and help you find your best fit. Following are various transfer scenarios for those aiming to transfer into Engineering, change majors within Engineering, and switch to majors outside of our College. The most important thing is to work with your advisor so you know the exact steps to take.

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The Grainger College of Engineering has an Inter-Departmental Transfer (IDT)/Intercollegiate Transfer (ICT) process that students should start by exploring the information below in order to check eligibility and decide how to proceed. For more details see the Engineering Advising website.

Declaring A Major in Grainger Engineering

  • Students entering the university as first-year students prior to summer 2022 need to apply to the Pre-Engineering Program (PREP).
  • Students entering the university as first-year students for summer/fall 2022 need to refer to the policies and guidelines for Engineering Undeclared (EU).

Any transfer student interested in completing a major, including a dual degree, in The Grainger College of Engineering must apply and be admitted directly into the college at time of transfer. Transfer students entering other colleges on campus are not eligible for later admission/on-campus transfer to the Pre-Engineering Program (PREP), Engineering Undeclared, or Grainger Engineering.

For students entering the university in or after summer/fall 2022:  The Computer Science major is available via direct admission (first-year and transfer) only and is CLOSED to on-campus transfer (ICT/IDT), including Engineering Undeclared.  CS+X majors will remain open for on-campus transfer applications; the acceptance process for these majors is highly competitive.  Students interested in CS+X majors should consult the respective colleges housing those majors.

Students who entered the university as first-year students in Physics or CS+X majors prior to summer/fall 2022 may submit a petition directly to Grainger Engineering for the following requests:

  • Physics (LAS) -> may apply to move to Physics in Grainger only (all other majors through PREP/EU)
  • CS+X (various colleges) -> may apply to move to CS in Grainger only (all other majors through PREP/EU)

The on-campus transfer petitions from Physics and CS+X majors noted above are competitive and acceptance is not guaranteed. Learn more about eligibility criteria and course requirements.

Changing Majors Within Grainger Engineering

Students currently enrolled in Grainger Engineering may petition to transfer to another major within the College. Students considering this option should start by speaking with college and department advisors. Learn more about eligibility criteria and course requirements.

Students entering the university as first-year students in the following majors may also use the College petition process and do not need to first apply to the Pre-Engineering Program or Engineering Undeclared:

  • Agricultural & Biological Engineering (ACES)
  • Chemical Engineering (LAS)

Transferring out of  Grainger Engineering

If you've decided that engineering is not right for you, we invite you to speak with a college advisor about your interests and next steps.

Finding the Right Academic Fit

Changing your major is the right path for some, but not for everyone. There are additional options to augment your education and allow you to design an academic curricular experience that is tailored to your goals and interests. Listed below are available academic opportunities you can consider to enhance your education:

Declaring a minor

minor at the University of Illinois is a secondary academic discipline undertaken during your undergraduate studies. There are required courses and/or credit hours to fulfill the minor. Fewer courses are taken for a minor compared to a major.

Minors are:

Learn more from Engineering Advising.

Explore a certification

A certificate attests to a student's achievement in an area beyond their major. Certificates do not appear on the final transcript. The following organizations offer certificates that may be of interest to Grainger Engineering students:

Learn more about certificates

Dual Degrees

A dual degree is when a student studies two different disciplines at the same time and receives two separate degrees. Students may pursue a dual degree with either a second engineering major or a major from a different college. Grainger Engineering students are also eligible to pursue a dual degree in Innovation, Leadership and Engineering Entrepreneurship (ILEE), intended to teach engineering students the innovative processes involved in identifying complex technical problems and creating, developing and leading efforts to provide engineering solutions. 

Learn more from Engineering Advising.

Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s Engineering Degree Programs

A combined B.S. and M.S. degree program allows undergraduate students to pursue a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree simultaneously. Only certain Grainger Engineering programs offer the B.S./M.S option. Students typically apply for these programs in their third year.