Exploring Majors

Art student at work

Some students enter college knowing exactly which major they wish to pursue. Other new students want to explore their options before they declare a major. We want to ensure that you stay on track to graduate in four years while you are “exploring.” That is important for you academically and financially.

College policy requires that students choose a major by the time they have earned 45 credits. This includes transfer and test credits as well as college credits earned while still in high school (like RIC’s Early Enrollment Program). But if you are not quite sure of your direction, how do you choose your courses?

The college has created six Academic Rhode Maps, each of which represents an exploring area for new freshmen and transfers (with fewer than 45 credits) who have not yet decided on a major. The maps include the majors associated with those six broad areas of focus, and each has a three-semester academic plan.

Academic Rhode Maps

Academic Rhode Maps are for all undergraduate b​achelor programs, and are intended to serve as guides to students of the best path toward graduation, in as timely a fashion as possible. Not everyone graduates in four years as it depends on how many courses you can take, and how you do in those courses. These maps map are not your only route; they are suggestions. You might take additional courses over the summer (or early spring/winter) to catch up or get ahead if the courses you need are offered at these times.

Maps list all courses needed to complete a program and graduate, along with course prerequisites and possible minimum grades. They include recommended course choices for each semester to cover your major alongside the General Education program, and have room for a possible minor or second major in those programs with a smaller number of credits. Checkpoints along the way help you determine if you are on track to graduate and include things of which you need to be aware each semester, including your target GPA, when to see your advisor, and other requirements.

The Academic Rhode Map is designed primarily for freshmen coming to college for the first time, but transfer students may also use the Rhode Map with the understanding that they have most likely completed several requirements through transfer of credit, and will be starting further into the program. Maps also assume a Fall start.

Professor Stephen Fisher in the classroom

Exploring Arts

If you select Exploring Arts, you are considering a possible major in Art, Dance, Film Studies, Music or Theatre. Your Academic Rhode Map will keep you on track so that you will be able to declare a major by the time you reach 45 credits. As your academic advisor, OASIS staff will guide you through the map. The map is two-sided, with the three-semester plan and checkpoints on the front, and a listing of course numbers and titles on the back.

A business classroom

Exploring Business

If you select Exploring Business, you are considering a possible major in Accounting, Economics, Finance, Health Care Administration (HCA), Management or Marketing. Your Academic Rhode Map will keep you on track so that you will be able to declare a major by the time you reach 45 credits. As your academic advisor, OASIS staff will guide you through the map. The map is two-sided, with the three-semester plan and checkpoints on the front and a listing of course numbers and title on the back.

Students reading a book

Exploring Humanities

If you select Exploring Humanities, you are considering a possible major in English, History, Philosophy or Modern Languages (Francophone Studies, French, Latin American Studies, Portuguese, Spanish). Your Academic Rhode Map will keep you on track so that you will be able to declare a major by the time you reach 45 credits. As your academic advisor, OASIS staff will guide you through the map. The map is two-sided, with the three-semester plan and checkpoints on the front and a listing of course numbers and titleon the back.

Nurse in a class room smiling

Exploring Health Sciences

If you select exploring Health Sciences​ – Health Sciences then you are considering a possible major in Health Science (with additional concentrations in Human Services or Medical Laboratory Sciences), Medical Imaging (Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Nuclear Medicine Technology, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or Radiography), or Nursing.

​​Psychology students Andrew Kerbs, Nicole Cesaroni and Hillary Hewitt attend a psychology class at RIC.

​​Exploring Social & Behavioral Sciences

If you select Exploring Social & Behavioral Sciences, you are considering a possible major in Africana Studies, Anthropology, Communication, Environmental Studies, Gender Studies, Geography, Global Studies, Justice Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Public Administration or Sociology. Your Academic Rhode Map will keep you on track so that you will be able to declare a major by the time you reach 45 credits. As your academic advisor, OASIS staff will guide you through the map. The map is two-sided, with the three-semester plan and checkpoints on the front and a listing of course numbers and titles on the back.

EXPLORING MAJORS

Who Advises Me?

Academic advising is mandatory for all undergraduate degree candidates at RIC. Students starting their first semester at RIC (newly accepted and enrolled freshmen and transfers) will be advised at their respective orientation programs sponsored by the Office of Academic Support & Information Services (OASIS).

While you are an “exploring” major, OASIS will serve as your academic advisor

Each semester, the Records Office places an advising hold (UAD) via a service indicator symbol on your record prior to the registration period for the fall and spring semesters (it is not required for summer registration).

Currently enrolled undergraduates receive an email each semester from Records informing them to consult with their advisor to ensure course selection suitability and then to have the universal advising block removed. OASIS will appear as your advisor on your MyRIC page.

In September, you will need to make your advising appointment with OASIS to prepare for spring registration.  In February, make your advising appointment with OASIS to prepare for fall registration.  When you choose a major, you will then be assigned a faculty advisor in the department of your major.​​

Policy on Declaring a Major

College Policy on Declaring a Major (effective fall 2014)

All undergraduate degree students must declare a major by the time they have earned 45 credits (includes all earned course and test credits). Students who fail to declare a major will have a registration hold placed.

In practice, incoming freshmen or transfers with fewer than 45 credits may choose to enter Rhode Island College as an Exploring major (previously called “undeclared”).  Once students have declared a major, they cannot go back to Exploring, but are free to change majors from among the college’s offerings.​​

Rhode Island College entrance

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