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Can I Go to College Undecided on My Major?

Many students don't know what they want to major in even as they're heading off to college. Here's what our experts advise about going to school undecided.

Randall LangstonRandall Langston
Executive Director of Enrollment Management

University of Northern Colorado
I am sure that you have heard from your parents, friends, family, etc., how important that decision—choosing a major—is. It’s as if your entire career and life hinges on that one decision! How about that for pressure? It is hard enough going through high school, taking all those college preparatory classes, studying for and taking the ACT/SAT, and applying for college...and now this?

Well, first don’t panic! According to many studies, college students change their major on average more than five times. Yes, five times! College major choice is meant as an exploratory process. That is, you have a wonderful opportunity to spend the first two years of college (while you take prescribed core classes) taking a few classes that truly interest you. It is during this time that you will have a chance to “test the waters” and see what interests you. Take this time to also speak with friends, college advisors, and others who have either already gone through this process or are also experiencing it as this is a great support group for you. In the end, much like all of the students that came before you, the decision on a college major will evolve through college, and without a doubt, you will have a better idea of a major decision before you graduate!

Donald K. ShermanDonald K. Sherman
Attorney, Author
It can be challenging to find a major if you don’t know what you want to do after school. Still, that ambivalence is actually quite freeing. If you are truly undecided, I would select a major based on the classes that I like the best and the evaluation metric that caters to my strengths. If you are taking courses you’re interested in, chances are you will work harder and perform better. Likewise, if you aren’t a great test-taker and are better at writing papers, then I would try to find a major that accentuates your skills. College is a place where you should challenge yourself socially and academically, but that doesn’t mean picking a major in your worst subject. Finding your comfort zone—in the sense of a place of engagement, strength, skill, and enjoyment—is the best way to succeed

CX experts generic imageAmy D. Smith
Office of Admissions
Georgia Southern University
If you're undecided, that's okay! High school seniors feel so much pressure to have a major chosen by the time they get to college, but there is no rush. It is better to be undecided for a year and get some classes under your belt than to jump into something that may not be right for you. Explore classes to make sure you choose a degree that you’ll enjoy. 

CX experts generic imageChristina McIntyre
Founder of BecomeAlum
Member of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA)
High school students should ask the right questions before applying and the campus visit is the perfect place to do so. I recommend asking the following six questions if you’re undecided on a major.

  1. Does applying undecided impact how my application is reviewed?
  2. What guidance do students receive toward helping identify a major that would be a good fit?
  3. How many students typically enter your school as undecided?
  4. Is there a course students should take in the first semester to help in the search for a major?
  5. What majors are restricted and what are the restrictions?
  6. Will applying undecided impact my ability to graduate in four years?

The answers you receive can impact your ultimate choice of a major as well as which college to attend.

To start exploring your major options at your colleges of interest, try using our College Search tool

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