Rice University
Office of the Registrar
Working with the Rice community to provide quality service and records management


Majors, Minors and University Certificates

In order to receive a bachelor's degree from Rice University, students must complete the requirements for at least one major. Within some majors, students can choose a particular area of concentration, or a track. Students may also choose to fulfill the requirements for more than one major; such majors do not necessarily need to be in related fields. For a list of majors and more detailed information on departmental majors, please see the "Undergraduate Degree Chart" section of the General Announcements.

At their May 10, 2006 meeting, the Faculty Senate approved a process for the creation of minors. For more information on this process, please visit the Committee on Undergraduate Curriculum's website.

Declaring a Major, Minor, and/or University Certificate

Undergraduate students must declare a major during or before the spring semester of their second year. Sophomore (or second year) students will not be permitted to register for the fall semester of their junior (or third year) if they have not yet declared a major. The major declaration deadline is listed in the Academic Calendar each year. Undergraduates may declare a major at any time before this deadline and always are free to change their major by completing the appropriate form.

In addition to a major, students may also choose to declare:

  • An interdisciplinary or departmental minor;
  • A university certificate.

Please Note:  Students must first declare a primary major before declaring a minor or university certificate.  

To declare your major, minor, and/or university certificate:

  1. Login to ESTHER external_link.
  2. Print an unofficial transcript.
  3. Go to Student Services & Account Information > Degrees, Majors, and Minors Declared > UG Declaration and Change of Major (or Minor or University Certifcate) Form.
  4. Print and fill out the form. Note: You must submit a separate form for EACH major (or minor or university certificate) you are adding or dropping.
  5. Take the completed form and transcript to the appropriate department for approval. Have the advisor and/or department chair for the major/minor/university certificate sign the UG Declaration and Change of Major (or Minor or University Certificate) Form.
  6. If the form cannot be signed immediately by the major (or minor or university certificate) advisor and/or department chair, leave it with the department for signature and pick it up when complete.  Please Note:  We discourage students from leaving their forms with the department to be forwarded to our office, especially during the deadline period.    
  7. Return the completed form in person to the Office of the Registrar.


At present, the following minors have been approved:

Academic Year
Minor Code   Minor Description  
2015 - 2016 ENST Environmental Studies (interdisciplinary)
2015 - 2016 PLST Politics, Law and Social Thought (interdisciplinary)
2014 - 2015 NAVA Naval Science (departmental)
2013 - 2014 NEUR Neurosciences (interdisciplinary)
2010 - 2011 MATM* Mathematics (departmental)
2010 - 2011 STAS* Statistics (departmental)
2010 - 2011 EEBM* Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (departmental)
2010 - 2011 BCBM* Biochemistry and Cell Biology (departmental)
2010 - 2011 AFST African Studies (interdisciplinary)
2010 - 2011 ANTY* Anthropology (departmental)
2009 - 2010 PJHC Poverty, Justice, and Human Capabilities (interdisciplinary)
2009 - 2010 CAMT* Computational and Applied Mathematics (departmental)
2009 - 2010 EWSU Energy and Water Sustainability (interdisciplinary)
2009 - 2010 JWST Jewish Studies (interdisciplinary)
2008 - 2009 GLHT Global Health Technologies (interdisciplinary)
2007 - 2008 BUSI Business (departmental)
2006 - 2007 SOCY* Sociology (departmental)
2006 - 2007 FCAM Financial Computation and Modeling (interdisciplinary)

*Unique 4-digit minor codes differentiate the departmental major from the departmental minor.  For example, the Sociology major is SOCI and the minor is SOCY.

University Certificates 

At present, the following undergraduate university certificates have been approved:

Academic Year Approved   Certificate Code   Certificate Description   Department Contact  
2014 - 2015 CCL Civic Leadership Caroline Quenemoen  
2014 - 2015 CEL Engineering Leadership Kaz Karwowski  
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Last Revised : March 26, 2015