A student of color laughs with his hands in his pockets while congregating with peers in Washington Square Park.


Declaration Day at the NYU College of Arts and Science (CAS) is a big deal. It’s a tradition—a celebration. It’s a time when CAS recognizes the hard work students put into their education. Each year during the spring semester, Declaration Day rolls around. It is a day for CAS students to officially declare their majors and meet the people—faculty, administrators, and fellow students—they’ll work alongside and build relationships with as they pursue their degrees.

During Declaration Day, each of CAS’s more than 50 departments and programs opens their doors to the community and celebrates with balloons, food, music, and more. Students receive pins with their majors etched into the enamel. And, at the end of the day, CAS partners with the Student Council to host a party for those declaring to come together, snap a few selfies, and celebrate with their peers.

Meet NYU stopped by this year’s Declaration Day event to converse with the students who declared their majors. We learned why they chose their majors and joined the celebration that marks an important milestone in their academic careers. Check it out!

Two CAS students holding signs with their declared majors, Biology and Politics, on them with violet and white balloons in the background.
“‘...it would be cool if I got to know a little bit more about this.’”

“When I first came to NYU, I didn’t know neural science was a thing. I knew about psychology, but I didn’t know about neural science, which focuses more on the molecular basis of the mind. I’m always in my head thinking about myself, the world, and how people interact. I began to wonder: Why am I like this? Is everyone else like this? I was just marveled by the nuances of the brain and how beautifully and wonderfully we are made, and I thought, ‘You know, it would be cool if I got to know a little bit more about this.’” Lori Campbell, sophomore declaring Neural Science, Brooklyn, New York

“…international relations is a good intersection to do that.”

“Growing up in India, they expect you to learn only sciences per se. So I knew a lot of science, but that wasn’t something I wanted to do. I want to work in policy and economics, and international relations is a good intersection for that. I used to read a lot of my mom’s economics books and was always intrigued by them. Then, with international relations, I’ve just always been interested in the UN and policy.” Vyo Kapse, first year declaring an Economics and International Relations double major, India

“...helpful with my application to law school...”

“I am declaring the Language and Mind major. I believe the study of psychology, linguistics, and philosophy, which is what this major is made up of, will be incredibly helpful with my application to law school after graduation. Because it will give me the ability to analyze and debate the laws of this country.” Sofi Aljure, sophomore declaring Language and Mind, Miami, Florida

Two students holding signs with their declared majors, Neural Science and Biology, on them with violet and white balloons in the background.
“…would help me better understand others and myself…”

“I was always interested in learning about human behavior, so I thought studying psychology would help me better understand others and myself. And NYU is the perfect place for me to do this. I’m from Uzbekistan, so I love the diversity here. I love learning about other people and other cultures, and this is the perfect place to do that.” Sevinch Mansurova, sophomore declaring Psychology, Uzbekistan

“I’m leaning into a prelaw track and am big on advocacy and activism...”

“I switched my majors during my sophomore year. I read about the Gender and Sexuality Studies major and found it really interesting. It’s really relevant to everything that’s going on in the world today. I’m leaning into a prelaw track and am big on advocacy and activism, so I want to see what I can do in that field. I’m also majoring in Music, which is something I’m doing more for me because I love music and have been playing music my entire life.” Xen DeFreitas, sophomore declaring a Gender and Sexuality Studies and Music double major, Queens, New York

“There’s just so much you can do with it.”

“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved the sciences. Biology has always been the one that’s the most fascinating to me. You can apply biology to a lot: at the cellular level, or you can also focus it on the environment. There’s just so much you can do with it.” Sydney Perugachi, junior declaring Biology, Albany, New York

“Why weren’t there any emergency services?”

“Growing up in Nigeria, I experienced something I shouldn’t have experienced at a young age: I witnessed someone die. It really struck something in me. No one really reacted to his death, and I was like, ‘Oh, this seems like a problem.’ Why weren’t there any emergency services? Why wasn’t anyone rushing to help him? That was what first piqued my interest in looking for ways to improve health care. My overall goal is to eventually work with the UN on sustainable health-care systems.” Tefike Okotete, junior declaring Global Public Health and Biology, Nigeria

“…I want to make the biggest impact I can…”

“I’m declaring Economics because I have a big interest in markets and how they collide with people and governments. Also, I have an interest in politics and enjoy math, and economics combines all these things. I’m just one person, but I want to make the biggest impact I can, and through economics you can help change people’s lives for the better on a large scale.” Raymond Zhang, first year declaring Economics, Boston, Massachusetts

“…it’s going to be a lot of fun to explore.”

“I declared Chemistry first. It was something I wanted to learn more about. But I just added Data Science for extra job security and because there’s a lot of interesting stuff going on with data science. Machine learning and AI. You can also apply it to chemistry. There are a lot of intersections with the two, and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to explore.” Alex Dong, junior declaring a Chemistry and Data Science double major, Salt Lake City, Utah

The view of the Washington Square Park Arch from Fifth Avenue.

With more than 60 available majors to choose from, which would you declare? Learn more about which majors CAS students declare and why on TikTok.

Kelly McHugh-Stewart is a Senior Writer and Strategist for NYU’s University Relations and Public Affairs Office of Marketing Communications, where she seeks out and enjoys telling stories that help people understand the world through a new lens. Kelly holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School and a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from Kansas State University. Her reporting and personal essays have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Reader’s Digest, CNN Opinion, and Sports Illustrated, among others.