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

VincentN
Stanford


Accepted to Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Irvine

Technophile and coffee lover. CS major and Classics minor with a passion for STEM and the arts.
katiesawildcat
Northwestern


Accepted to Northwestern

Optimist, dancer, artist, & biologist. EDed NU.
michellezhang
Northwestern


Accepted to Northwestern, Dartmouth, UC Berkeley, UChicago, Rice, UMich, USC

Aspiring entrepreneur interested in computer science, health, and sustainability; applied to college as an econ/environmental science major.
Yalie
Yale


Accepted to Yale, Columbia, Rice, Williams, Amherst, UVA, UNC, W&L U, Rutgers, UVM

Entrepreneurial sophomore Mathematics and Philosophy major at Yale University who also loves the liberal arts.




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