Your Major Pathway and Why It's So Important


Why Are Students Shouldn't  Take Courses Outside of Their Declared Major

When a student declares a major (on their application for admission) or updates their major (using a change of major form) they are setting themselves on a pathway for success. The pathway is a series of courses that once completed will result in the student achieving their goal.  When a student enrolls in courses that are not a part of their pathway they are delaying their progress toward their goal, wasting time and money, or even worse causing some damage to their future academic career (see Effects on Registration below).  At WCJC, the goal is for students to achieve their goal in the most efficient manner possible. Staying on a pathway is the most efficient way to achieve a goal.

Effects on Registration

Beginning with the Fall of 2017, students will not be able to register for a course that is not listed as part of their declared major pathway without first consulting with an academic advisor, division chair or department head. A WCJC student is allowed to enroll in a course that is not a part of their major pathway. The student assumes all risks for taking a course that is not part of their major pathway. The risks include the following:

  • Financial Aid (which includes Veteran’s Benefits) can’t be awarded for a course that is outside of a student’s major pathway
  • Financial Aid Appeal plans are voided and financial aid is forfeited by the student for taking a course outside of a student’s major pathway and approved academic plan
  • Courses taken outside of a student’s major pathway will count toward a student’s total number of credits attempted (affecting financial aid eligibility later in a student’s academic career)
  • Graduation from Wharton County Junior College may be delayed by taking courses outside of a student’s major pathway
  • No refund is offered to students who enroll in courses outside of their major pathway and then seek a refund due to the fact the course is outside of their major pathway
  • Credits from courses outside of a student’s major pathway may not transfer to another institution or they may not be a part of the receiving institution’s program of study

 What Courses  Are On a Pathway

Students can discover the courses on their pathway in a couple of ways.  Students can go to "Programs" page on the WCJC website On this page, a student can click on the AA Degree Maps link to see the pathway for transfer programs. If a student has  a vocational or Allied Health major, they can click on the specific program link  on the "Programs" page. Once a student has "landed" on a specific program page they can click on "Program Curriculum" to see the courses that are on that pathway.

Override Into Courses Not on a Pathway

If a student receives an error message in their online services account, as they are registering for a course, the message indicates they have a "Degree Restriction" they are trying to register for a course outside of their pathway.   The steps below should guide the student's actions if they receive that message as they attempt to register:

  • Student registers for courses in  their Online Services account on Add/Drop Classes page
  • If a student attempts to register for a course outside of their Major Pathway they will receive an error message.
  • The error message will read “Degree Restriction” on Add/Drop Classes Online Services page.
  • The Degree Restriction error message on the Add/Drop Classes page defines the error and provides a link to this page.
  • The student goes to the major restriction page and reads information on major restrictions and the override process.
  • The override process begins with the student checking their online services account to verify their declared major pathway and courses associated with that pathway. The student is directed to online services—Registration link and then to “Check Registration Status and Major Pathway.” If the student determines the declared major is incorrect, the student should seek academic advising to complete a change of major pathway form. The change of major pathway form is available on the "Student Forms" page on the college website at
  • If the major pathway does not include the course the student wishes to enroll into, and they do not wish to change their major,  the student should complete the Major Pathway Course Override Approval Form (MPCOAF) this form is available on the "Student Forms" page on the college website  at .
  • After completing the form the student must consult with a member of the academic advising staff or division chair or department head. The consultation can be face to face or in the online environment.
  • After consultation, if the student still wishes to enroll in the course, the student must deliver the completed MPCOAF, with all appropriate signatures to the Office of Admission and Registration (OAR). Completed MPCOAFs can be delivered to the OAR by hand, by fax or in electronic format.
  •  The OAR staff will complete the student’s registration.  The MPCOAF will be imaged and indexed  and become a part of the student’s electronic file.

Changing a Major Pathway

 It is completely accepted for students who realize they have declared the wrong major pathway or have changed their mind and wish to start on a different major pathway to change major pathways. The Change of Major Pathway form is located on the "Student Forms" page at Students should meet with an academic advisor (academic advisor information located on the college website on the
"Academic Advising" page on the college website at After the student meets with an academic advisor they can submit their Change of Major Pathway form to the Office of Admission and Registration via hand delivery, fax (979)-532- 6494, or email at

It is not uncommon for a student to change their Major Pathway a few times during their college career.



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