Making a Program Change

Posted by Sophie Morgan on January 22, 2019

Academic Success

It’s important to note that this article is not a substitute for academic advising, so please be sure to consult with the Program Change webpage, your academic advisor(s), the Academic Calendar and any other resources you may need to help with your decision!

University is a time for growth and experience. This means that our likes, dislikes and interests about subjects and career paths can change from what we initially had in mind. Thankfully, York University offers students the ability to make a program change, so they can better align their university degree with their personal and career goals.

During my first year at York U, I became interested in the French Studies program and wanted to figure out how I could add it to my current degree. Even for a seemingly small program change, I had to be proactive and do a lot of research during my decision-making process before I ended up with the French Studies major that I am now pursuing. I’m here to share the four steps that I took when making my program change in today’s #YUBlog post!

Changing your program can mean changing to a different major, or simply adding or removing a minor. It can also be changing your degree, such as switching from a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) to a Bachelor of Arts (BA). Before making a change it’s important to visit the Program Office and seek Academic Advising.

A photo of a person writing in their notebook
It’s useful to plan out your academic goals when thinking about your program change.

Step 1: Learn About Your Program of Interest

A photo of a person typing on their laptop.
You’ll be more comfortable with the program change process if you set aside time for research.

Getting familiar with your program of interest is a key step in the program change process. The first place you can visit is the Faculty’s and/or program’s website to get an idea of what the program is all about. I also recommend reviewing the Undergraduate Academic Calendar because it contains everything you need to know about program requirements.

When I visited the French Studies website and the Academic Calendar, I asked myself these questions:

  • Does this program suit my interests and/or career goals?
  • What courses have I taken so far? What kind of courses will I be able to take? Do I like those options?

You can learn more about the program’s courses by reviewing the Academic Calendar and looking them up on the York University Courses website.

These questions are important to consider because they will help you think about whether or not the program change you’re considering is right for you.

Step 2: Visit the Program Change Website

A photo of a person typing on their laptop.
Take your time while reviewing the Program Change webpage – it contains a lot of important information!

After doing some online research about the French Studies program at York U and considering my options, I decided to take a peek at the Program Change webpage for more details.

You’ll find most of the information online, but here are some additional things to know:


Make sure you understand the degree requirements and the qualifications to be accepted into the program to which you want to change. This means that it’s best to visit an academic advisor and/or review the Undergraduate Academic Calendar for your program of interest.


A program change may affect your fees, so be sure to refer to the Course and Program fees webpage and York’s Student Financial Services website.


If you want to add a certificate to your record without changing your current program, please contact the program offering the certificate for more information. 

Step 3: Visit Your Academic Advisors

A photo of two people discussing information in front of a computer.
An Academic Advisor can offer you key academic advice during a program change.

Before going through with your program change, it’s best to check in with the academic advisors related to your current program and program of interest. They can review your pre-requisites, conduct a degree audit and offer you any advice and information you may need. 

For example, I visited an academic advisor to ask additional questions I had about the French Studies program and review my program change to learn how it would affect some of my credits, such as having fewer free-choice credit options.

I highly suggest you visit the Academic Advising webpage or attend the upcoming Academic Advising Fair to find the appropriate person to speak to! You can also visit our previous #YUBlog post, “Academic Advising at York U,” for all the information you’ll need about Academic Advising.

Step 4: Make the Program Change!

A photo of a person typing on their laptop.
Be sure to take your time when filling out the online application form!

The final step in making your program change is to fill out the online program change request form. It’s important to check the status of your program change periodically on the online program change module to see if it has been approved, denied or cancelled.

I hope that this blog post has helped you with that program change you may have been thinking about, and I encourage you to take advantage of all the amazing resources that York U has to offer to help you with this process! You can check out our previous #YUBlog post, “Your Top 10 York U Resources” for some of these support services.

If you have any questions about making a program change, please comment below or tweet us at @YorkUStudents!

Sophie Morgan
Sophie Morgan

Sophie Morgan is a second-year Professional Writing and French Studies double major at York U. She is an avid writer, a baking enthusiast and a full-time cat-sitter. She hopes that her posts will inform and inspire both prospective and current York U students!

See other posts by Sophie Morgan