Colleges that do and do not admit based on majors

Could someone please let me know which colleges admit based on majors and which do not from the college list below. Also, please do mention if they admit based on colleges within the university.

  1. MIT
  2. Carnegie Mellon
  3. Stanford
  4. Harvard (I was told that Harvard doesn’t admit based on major in a previous post)
  5. UPenn
  6. Cornell
  7. Duke
  8. Brown
  9. UIUC
  10. Rice

Thank you

9 UIUC, yes. If you are OOS for CS, that may the toughest admit on your list (rumored ~2%). My DS’s HS just had their top academic student denied from there with a 4.0/36. This is from a school that sends many to T20s.

2, 5, 6, and 7 admit by division (arts & sciences, engineering, business, etc.). 9 admits by major, although applicants rejected from their majors may be admitted as undeclared students (who would then face competitive admission to get into their desired majors later).

At colleges that do not formally admit by division or major, an applicant that appears too similar to other applicants may not seem as valuable to an admissions committee trying to make a “well rounded class” compared to a more unusual applicant. Similarity to other applicants may include indicating an overly popular major or ECs/essays/recommendations that suggest primary interest in an overly popular major.

@ucbalumnus Do you mean colleges within the university when you say division? Or divisions as in “area of study”?

MIT does not. They ignore your major in deciding whether to admit you. If you are accepted and decide to attend, then they use your major to decide who to assign as your freshman year advisor.

Rice does not admit by major (except for architecture and music). Students apply and are admitted to one of the schools within the university: Engineering, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, Architecture, and Music. However, the admission is not binding, and students are free to change schools and majors. Students can major in any subject (with the exception of architecture and music), and do not have to declare a major until the end of sophomore year. Admission into the schools of architecture and music requires a pre admission portfolio or audition. Many students come into Rice intending to major in one thing, and end up majoring in something else or double majoring.

Cornell admits by college but still asks for intended major on the application.

If a university admits by major/college and you are admitted you cannot call them up and ask to switch to a different program. You would have to do an internal transfer after freshman year and it can be more competitive than freshman admission.

Division as in “College of Engineering” or “School of Business Administration” or some such.

That is not true everywhere. My son considered changing his major after admitted and two schools would have allowed him to do so with a simple email. Another would have made him transfer during freshman year as you described. Every school has different policies.

@me29034 Many universities will admit you to a particular program/major in the acceptance letter. If they allow quick switches then they essentially admit you to the university. The OP is asking about schools that essentially have different admission standards for different programs e.g. CMU.

Boston College is by school, not major.

Carroll for Business.

Lynch for education.
Morrissey for Sciences & Liberal Arts

Connell School of Nursing.

The new one coming next year so is going to be the engineering school.

Schiller School of Integrated Science and Engineering (at least is what most people think)

Personally, I consider the Nursing school to be a tweener. Both by School and Major.

Georgetown was the same when DD applied as well.

Another possibility is that the university may allow a quick switch into an underenrolled major, but not to a major enrolled to full capacity.

Could you not find this on their websites, or through a short email?



Lots of folks are “told” information here. Much is correct, some is not. You’re better off asking the schools directly.

Prospective students interested in engineering at Duke should apply to Pratt. Students interested in arts and sciences majors, including computer science, should apply to Trinity.

Pratt students can and often do complete a double major in Trinity (econ, CS, math, public policy, etc.), but Trinity students are not allowed to complete a second major in Pratt.

“Lots of folks are “told” information here. Much is correct, some is not. You’re better off asking the schools directly.”

I don’t if this info is spelled out on website but agree, that calling is the best way to do it. I’ve called and gotten pretty helpful responses, one said we evaluate apps to see if they can major in english or electrical engineering.