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

alm25
UT Austin ‘19


Accepted to UC Berkeley, USC, UMich, Illinois, UT Austin, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCSD, UCSB, U of Minnesota, Arizona, WVU, Cal Poly, San Jose State

I'm from the SF Bay Area, but I'm betraying my roots by attending The University of Texas at Austin as a chemical engineering major. I like music, science and eating!
elle2020
Brown ‘20


Accepted to Brown, UPenn, Wellesley, Kenyon, Macalester, Holyoke, Harvard, Bowdoin

Just another girl finally through the college apps rat race. I'm happy to share with you what I did to get through it! Currently I'm pre-law and possibly majoring in Public Policy.
vicamit
Vanderbilt ‘20


Accepted to Florida, Vanderbilt, Duke, Emory, UPenn, Miami, Northeastern, UVA, UNC, Georgetown, Rice

Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholar at Vanderbilt and art enthusiast
lmelcher
Columbia ‘20


Accepted to Columbia, Brown, UPenn, Rice, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UVA, UC Davis, UCSD, UCSC, USC

Hey! I'm a John Jay Scholar at Columbia, and I'm from Los Angeles. I'm planning to major in Art History and do ballet and theater. Hope I can help!




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