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Double Major Criteria

Students interested in adding a second major are encouraged to consider doing so early in their academic careers.

All College of Liberal Arts majors are impacted, and therefore it may not be possible to accept double majors in all programs or in every quarter. Students are not permitted to double major in Psychology and Child Development. 

Students interested in adding a second major from those majors offered by the College of Liberal Arts must:

  • be able to complete the majors concurrently (see “Double Majors and Degrees” on
  • be able to complete both majors in 5 total years if the student started Cal Poly as a first year, or 3 total years if the student started as a transfer.
  • complete all the same criteria listed for students changing into that CLA major (see CLA Change of Major).

After establishing their interest and eligibility, students will need to:

  1. Develop an academic plan (XLS) showing that they can complete both majors in a timely manner, as outlined below.
  2. Write a narrative addressing reasons why a second major is appropriate to their academic or career goals, as outlined below.
  3. Meet with the Department Chair or Associate Chair of the major they wish to add. You must get approval to add your proposed major.
  4. With approval from the Department Chair or Associate Chair, obtain a digital "Add a Major" form from CLA Advising ( or the Chair/Associate Chair themselves.
  5. The form will be digitally routed for signatures in the order below:
    • Students must attach the two documents above.
    • Department chair for the present major
    • Department chair for the target (proposed) major
    • College of Liberal Arts’ Dean's Office

Developing the Academic Plan

Students must develop and attach an academic plan (XLS) to the “Add a Major” form. The academic plan should demonstrate that coursework can be completed for both degrees within five academic years or 15 quarters as freshmen. Transfer students should show a path to completion with no more than three years or nine quarters. With the consent of both departments, students may request to have one senior project fulfill the requirement for both majors.

Students should use departmental curriculum sheets and tentative course offerings to develop a realistic plan. Students should consider meeting with their major advisors or the CLA Advising Center for assistance with planning.

Writing the Narrative

Students must attach a minimum one-page narrative describing the benefits of adding a second major as it relates to students’ academic and/or career goals. This should include a rationale for why a second baccalaureate degree would be more beneficial than a minor or graduate degree in the target major. Students should consult with Career Services and/or a faculty advisor for help in identifying academic and/or career benefits.



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