MAJOR CERTIFICATION FAQ
- When will I be able to see the Major Certification Form link in my portfolio and where will it appear?
All active students will see the Major Certification Form link in their Academic Career bucket. If you are a freshman or first-semester sophomore who has not yet declared a major, when you click on the link you will see a blank page entitled Major Certification Form because there is no major information to display.
- What if I have more than one major?
If you have more than one major, you will see a separate link for each. If one of your majors has a single path to fulfill the major, you will see a single link for that particular major. If your second major has multiple concentrations (such as ANTH), you will see multiple links related to your second major.
- What happens when I declare a major?
The day after you are accepted into a major, you will see a link to your specific major when you click on the Major Certification Form link. If your major has multiple concentrations or tracks, you will see a separate link for each.
- What happens if I drop my second major?
The link will disappear the following day. The information pertaining to any prior actions taken relating to your major will be maintained in the database, however, in the event you choose to reinstate.
- Will I still need to complete the old Senior Concentration Form on paper?
No. This electronic version of the senior concentration form (now called the Major Certification Form) replaces the old paper-based form. All majors including COL, CSS and UNIV majors are now certified electronically.
- What are the benefits of this new application?
The benefits are many. First, it is a green initiative that saves paper. It also saves you time and aggravation. There is no need to run around, get signatures and deliver a paper form to your Class Dean. All major requirements have been built into the PeopleSoft database and directly interface with your individual academic record. If you have taken a course that satisfies a specific requirement, the course will appear directly under that requirement on your Major Certification Form automatically.
- What happens if I drop a course?
If you drop a course, it will no longer appear on your Major Certification Form.
- What happens if I fail a class?
Similar to a drop, if you fail a class, it will no longer appear on your Major Certification Form.
- Why is there a check box next to the courses I have taken on the Major Certification Form?
Often times individual courses can satisfy a number of different requirements. It is the student’s prerogative to decide which requirement they want a specific course to fulfill. By checking the box and clicking submit at the bottom of the page, you are asserting that you wish that course to satisfy that specific requirement.
- How will I know if my major uses the mutually exclusive rule?
Majors that consider courses to be mutually exclusive have been coded in a specific way to make sure that this rule is enforced. If you select the same course to satisfy more than one requirement within your major and that major has elected the mutually exclusive rule, you will receive a warning message in red at the top of the form informing you of this duplication and the course that has been inappropriately selected in multiple categories will appear in "purple". You will need to correct that duplication by unselecting the course in one of the categories and then click save. This will update the form and the duplication error will be cleared.
- What happens if I select specific courses appearing beneath a requirement and hit submit?
The form updates automatically once you hit submit and the courses you have selected are applied to the requirements that you have specified. At any time, you can change an action you have taken and uncheck the box and submit again to refresh your choices.
- Can the Major Certification Form be used for planning?
Absolutely. The Major Certification Form provides an excellent planning tool for you and your academic advisor to gauge where you are in the major.
- Can this tool automatically clear me in the major?
No. It is still the purview of the academic departments/programs to clear their own individual majors. This is simply a tool to facilitate that process and merely replaces the paper form. Departments/programs will continue to control requirements within their own major.
- Can a department or program choose to waive their own requirement?
Yes. Because departments/programs are ultimately responsible for clearing their students in the major, they have the ability to waive individual requirements.
- How can I substitute a course not appearing in the course list in satisfaction of a major requirement?
Next to each requirement identified on the Major Certification Form is a blue hyperlink labeled “request override”. If you click on that link, you can either select a specific course from your individual academic history that you would like to substitute for the specific requirement, or you can type text into the text box explaining why you feel it is appropriate to have that particular requirement waived.
- How can I seek an exemption from a requirement or post an outside course that has been pre-approved to count toward the major?
The Registrar's office can now record exemptions and student exceptions to the Major Certification Form. See your department chair concerning this process. Currently, students complete a paper form to receive pre-approval for outside courses. Once that approval have been granted, the Registrar can post the exception to your record so that it appears on the Major Certification Form. The same thing applies for intro-level courses that your major does not require you to take due to your enhanced level of ability. Departments can relay such information to the Registrar for posting.
- What is the character limit of the text field for override requests?
The text field for overrides can accommodate a maximum of 2000 characters. The text override option should only be used when an actual course is not being substituted. The best method for overrides is to select the course from the drop-down menu of your academic history.
- What happens once I submit an override request?
Your major advisor and/or chair will receive an automated email that night informing them that you have requested an override that requires them to take an action. Once they have taken an action, you will also receive an automated email instructing you to check your Major Certification Form to see what action was taken. In the meantime, your Major Certification Form will indicate that your override request is pending advisor approval and the request itself will appear in green.
- Can the override text fields be edited once they are submitted?
Yes, up until the time when the advisor takes an action. If and when an advisor approves the override, the text field freezes and it becomes “read only.”
- What is the purpose of the “planning text” link?
Some departments/programs may require their students to project out how they intend to fulfill a specific requirement or how they intend to form their concentration within their program. These planning text links were designed specifically to accommodate that. If your department/program requires you to submit planning text, they will inform you. Planning text is always editable. That text is never frozen until the student submits their form for final review and clearance within the major. The only exception to that is the new HIST major which requires students to identify their two modules. The planning text that identifies those modules can be frozen by the advisor.
- How is the Major Certification Form designed?
The Major Certification Form is a web-based application and requirements appear in the order in which they are generally fulfilled (i.e., gateway or introductory course requirements are listed first followed by concentrations, breadth requirements, and/or senior research requirements). Each individual requirement is separated by a gray horizontal line on the screen and each requirement has information that indicates the number of courses you must traditionally take to satisfy the requirement. The system counts courses not credits. So if the requirement states that 4 courses are required, it does not matter if some of those courses are .5 credit courses unless your department/program has specifically told you otherwise. The form is counting the total number of courses taken, not credits.
- Why do the requirements appear as blue hyperlinks?
If you click on an individual requirement on the Major Concentration Form, it links to a complete list of courses that satisfy that particular requirement as identified by your major. That list is maintained by the Registrar’s office and updated annually by departments/programs.
- If my major does have multiple tracks or concentrations, do I have to choose a specific one to follow?
That is up to your major. The Major Certification Form will NOT force you to make an affirmative decision to follow one particular track or concentration. Some majors allow students to develop their plan over time and thus potentially fulfill multiple concentrations prior to graduation. For this reason, you will always be able to view each track or concentration available to you. When you are in the final semester of your senior year, however, you will only be permitted to submit one form for final certification, so a definitive choice will need to be made at that time.
- What does the “back” button do on the top of the Major Certification Form?
It takes you back to the main landing page for your major(s). That way, if you have multiple majors or majors with multiple concentrations, you can easily get back to the main landing page once you have drilled down to specific concentrations.
- Do some courses require a minimum grade before they can satisfy a particular requirement?
Yes. If a department has designated that you must receive a B- in their gateway course, for example, the database will not allow you to select that course unless you met that threshold. The grades you received for each course taken appear in the column next to the term information.
- If I am registered for a course in an upcoming semester, or if I am currently enrolled in a course that will fulfill a requirement, but have not yet received a grade, can I apply that course to a requirement?
Up until your final semester in your senior year, the answer is no. Future courses for which you are registered will appear on the Major Certification Form, but you will not be allowed to select those courses until a grade is received. Once a grade is posted, the check box will appear next to that course so you can take an action. The only time an "in-progress" course can be selected is in a student's final term. In-progress courses will appear in "green" on the form and the faculty certifier will confirm that the selected "in-progress" courses are necessary to fulfill the major.
- When should I begin working with the Major Certification Form?
You should follow the recommendations of your specific major. Departments/programs may have different internal requirements. Your Class Dean will also inform you of deadlines that apply. Generally, the completed form will need to be submitted early in the second semester of your senior year so that the department can clear you in the major and the Class Deans can clear you for graduation. You can begin working with the form as early as you’d like, however.
- If I have questions about how to use this electronic form, who can I contact?
You should start with your academic advisor. The Registrar’s office will be hosting hands-on training sessions for all students this fall. If your advisor does not know the answer to a specific question, you can contact Susan Krajewski at x2738 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or Anna van der Burg at x3298 or email@example.com
- Is there a time limit within which a major advisor must take an action on an override request?
No. The major advisor will receive an email prompt when the override request is submitted, but it will not expire. The override request will simply remain in the pending phase until the major advisor takes an action.
- What if I change my mind about using a specific course to satisfy a major requirement after I have checked the box and submitted the information?
You can simply go in and “uncheck” the box next to that course and hit “submit” again and the form will update automatically.
- Is there a time after which the Major Concentration Form is frozen?
Yes. Once the department chair or major advisor certifies the major, the form becomes “read only.”
- When will students be required to submit the major concentration form for final approval?
All seniors in their final semester at Wesleyan are required to submit their final Major Certification form for certification. A Final Submit button will appear next to each major on the Major Certification landing page beginning 7 days after the end of Drop/Add. For students completing their studies in December 2013, the Final Submit button will appear on September 20th. For students completing their studies in May 2014, the Final Submit button will appear on February 12th. Students have two weeks to submit their form electronically for certification. Students who fail to submit their Major Certification Form for final certification in a timely manner will be required to meet with the University Registrar.
- Why do override requests appear in a different color on the Major Certification form?
We recently added a new feature whereby override requests appear in GREEN when they are submitted by the student. Override requests that are approved by a faculty advisor/chair remain in GREEN on the form so that it is easily distinguished that the courses offered are approved exceptions. If an override request is denied by a faculty advisor/chair, then the override request will revert to RED so that it is likewise easily discernable that the override has not been approved.