Declared vs. Undeclared: Which is better on a College Application?

December 05, 2014

You have the questions, and we got the answers! Today, we asked our interns whether they applied with a declared major and whether that would affect your chances at getting into your dream college! Read their insights and keep their advice in mind!

NUWildcat: It depends. If your major is difficult to get into - for instance journalism at the top journalism school in the country - you would probably have a better advantage applying undeclared. However, if you are an underrepresented student in a certain major - for instance, a female math major - you may have a higher likelihood of being accepted because you stand out. Make sure you carefully craft your undeclared major as an opportunity and not as you not having a passion. You should still demonstrate a goal and a plan of how to reach it in your essays.

nrchhabra: Applying as either declared or undeclared does not help or hurt you. While I applying to college, no one really talked about if and what they were declaring in their application. So many students change their major and minor frequently over the 4 years at college that it doesn’t really affect how schools see you. College admissions offices know that you’re more than likely to change your major even if you apply with a declared major. It is just important to think about and decide what you want to pursue, and whether the school you’re applying to is the right one for you. 

Browse Successful Application Files

Columbia ‘19

Accepted to Columbia

I'm a student at Columbia. I love writing, activism, terrible jokes, and binge-watching Netflix. Aspiring English teacher.
Barnard ‘18

Accepted to Barnard

Barnard '18 | My passions lie in education, psychology, and human rights, all from the lens of an African Studies major. My transcript and application were far from conventional, but neither am I.
GA Tech ‘19

Accepted to , Illinois Tech, RIT, Clarkson, Stevens, GA Tech, Case, UMich, Illinois, Colorado, Rochester

Georgia Tech Class of 2019. Studying Computer Science. Working for Google in Summer 2016
UCLA ‘20

Accepted to UCLA, Cornell, CMU, USC, UCSD, UC Davis

UCLA Class of 2020. Orange County native. I like math and music.

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