Asee peer logo

Change of Major Policy and Its Effects

Download Paper |


2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Computing and Information Technology Division Technical Session 8

Tagged Division

Computing and Information Technology

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Simeon Ntafos University of Texas at Dallas

visit author page

Dr. Ntafos is Professor of Computer Science, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and Director of the Office of Student Services in the School of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Texas at Dallas. He received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Wilkes College in 1974 , the M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and the Ph.D. Degree in Computer Science from Northwester University in 1977 and 1979 respectively.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Considerable attention has been paid to factors affecting student's selection of Engineering and related majors [1, 3, 5] and issues affecting retention and graduation in these majors [4, 6]. Lesser attention has been paid to change of major policies and their effects [2].

We study the effect of "change of major" policies on two degree programs (Computer Science and Computer Engineering) at a large Engineering School. The two programs are delivered by different Departments within the same School of Engineering and Computer Science. A university-wide policy that just required "good standing" to change major up to four years ago has evolved into separate policies for multiple Schools that have become more restrictive over the years and especially so in the School of Engineering and Computer Science. In the School of Engineering and Computer Science, motivations for the policy and the updates to it included managing growth and maintaining, improving quality.

We look at a number of issues arising from the policies and the interplay between the School's change of major policy and policies at the University level. We study movement of students in and out of the School and each Department and the effects on GPA and progress towards graduation. We discuss issues with maintaining a common School-wide policy on change of major and the effects on the Departments.

Ntafos, S. (2020, June), Change of Major Policy and Its Effects Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34270

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015