Applying Undecided: Should You or Shouldn’t You?

Does it make sense to pick a major you’re not sure about so you aren’t “undecided” on your college application? The answer can vary depending on the colleges you’re applying to, your own plans, and even a particular department.

The only way to really know is, of course, to ASK.

Contact the admissions office, importantly, early in the process. Do not contact them day before their application deadline when your fear kicks in. Ask what their policies are well in advance.

Be sure to give them some details about your long-term plans. For example, let’s say you want into their nationally-ranked business program. You know it’s competitive and many students are turned away each year. They may have a well-developed internal transfer process for current students who apply undecided, and work with an adviser during the freshman year.

RELATED: Smart Q & A: Should I apply undecided or declare a major

Perhaps you are truly undecided and want a year or two to explore classes from various departments before committing to a major. If so,  applying undecided, or “general studies” at some colleges, is a great option.

Some universities even require first-year students to begin as undecided or “general studies” or “exploratory” students.

As it turns out, even students who are sure about their majors during application time are likely to change majors. Studies show that up to 50% of college students change majors at some point.


Further reading:

Choosing One Major Out of Hundreds

Smart Q & A – Is it better to apply undecided or declare a major?

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