2003 - 2004
Progress to Graduation
Declaring a Major
Students are encouraged to declare a major upon entering UF as freshmen. Entering students who are considering several majors should declare the major they feel they are most likely to pursue. Even if students feel confident about their initial choice of major, they are encouraged to explore other majors by taking courses in other areas of interest.
Students are affiliated with the college that offers their desired major, allowing UF to provide the most appropriate advising toward the chosen degree. First-year students with no major preference can declare one of three exploratory categories: Humanities and Letters, Social and Behavioral Sciences, or Science and Engineering for their first three fall/spring terms. Exploratory students are affiliated with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
It is the universityís goal to help students find majors that match their talents and interests. Most of the courses taken early in studentsí academic careers meet general requirements that all students must complete. Therefore, students who change majors in the first year usually progress toward graduation in a timely fashion. Students may change majors provided they have college approval. The "degree shopping" feature on ISIS (www.isis.ufl.edu) allows students to match their academic records to the degree requirements of other majors so that they can consider other degree options and determine what courses they would have to take if they were to change majors.
Universal Tracking (UT) is the University of Florida academic monitoring system that provides students with a recommended semester-by-semester plan for each major to guide them toward graduation. The recommended plan is the optimal path for completing the degree in four years. The recommended semester-by-semester plan for each major appears in the college sections of this catalog.
Studentsí progress toward their degree is monitored each semester to ensure that they are on track and to provide feedback on their academic progress (summer terms are not include in tracking and may be used by students to Ďcatch upí and get back on track). Each fall and spring semester, students are reminded (via their GatorLink e-mail account) to review their tracking (degree) audit on ISIS before advance registration for the next term. The audit fits the studentís courses and grades into the semester-by-semester plan to show the student which requirements have been met and which requirements the student still needs to complete.
Students do not have to complete all of the recommended courses to remain on track; they simply have to meet certain minimum requirements (known as critical tracking criteria). The critical tracking criteria usually include a minimum GPA (UF or overall, depending on the college), completion of certain courses toward the major (critical tracking or pre-professional courses), and a minimum GPA in the critical tracking courses (tracking or pre-professional GPA). For most majors, the minimum critical tracking criteria appear just before the semester-by-semester plan in the college sections, and critical tracking courses are bolded in the semester-by-semester plan. In the degree audit, critical tracking courses are usually preceded by the "<<" or "##" symbols.
All incoming freshmen are monitored for Semester 1 critical tracking criteria, regardless of the number of hours earned by the student through dual enrollment and credit by examination.
Undecided students must declare a major before they can register for their fourth fall/spring semester. In their first three terms, such students should explore potential majors by taking one or more critical tracking courses for those majors.
A student who is off-track (fails to meet the minimum criteria for a specific term) is notified by the university. An academic hold is placed on the studentís record and the student must meet with an adviser before registering for the next term in order to 1) determine what is necessary to get back on track by the end of the next term or 2) change to a more appropriate major.
If the student is off-track for two consecutive terms, the student must change to a major more appropriate to the studentís goals and performance. Off-track students who have selected a new major should contact the college offering that major to schedule an appointment with an adviser to discuss changing the major. The Academic Advising Center (100 AAC) can help students identify potential majors and refer students to the appropriate college(s) for information about specific majors.
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