What Happens if You Apply to College as an “Undecided” Major?

December 01, 2015

One of the biggest questions every college (or soon-to-be college) student is what course of study to pursue. Plenty of students in high school don’t know what they want to major in once they get to college - and that’s okay. But soon-to-be high school graduates shouldn’t have to worry about going into the first semester or even the first year of college as an undecided major. As a matter of fact, tons of students do it. 

 

Applying to college as an “undecided” could be a great idea for anyone questioning what to study, as it allows you to investigate and see what subjects or professions interest them the most. The process is pretty simple: enter college, then choose electives from other majors and see what you like and dislike. But be careful - as an undecided applicant, you’ll still need to eventually make a decision about majors and minors. No one wants to stay in college too long, so make sure to have a major by the end of sophomore year. You shouldn’t waste your credits during your first couple years on electives that are fun and intriguing but won’t help you decide on a feasible major (“Invented Languages: Klingon and Beyond” probably isn’t a helpful course unless you’re considering majoring in Linguistics… or pursuing a career in Star Trek). Two years gives you enough time to see what major fits you best. 

Another route that many high school students are pursuing these days is actually taking classes at a local community college and/or online. Though you still can enter college as undecided, but you’ll have a much better understanding of available subjects outside of the standard high school curricula. 

However, it is important to remember that every college isn’t the best for everything. If you’re a musician, you might be better off applying to (and attending) a school that has a substantial and competitive music program instead of a brand-name university. Every school has its strengths, so when you’re applying to college, researching and understanding what each school offers is a crucial part of the process. 

So, what does happen if you apply to college as an “undecided” major? You might feel stressed to figure it out, but ultimately, you’re able to dictate your path after taking more time to understand yourself. Not knowing isn’t a bad thing - for some students, it’s the best possible scenario. Going to college undecided will give you time to understand your true interests, and allow you to really explore before deciding.

Sign up for AdmitSee now to speak with hundreds of mentors from schools across the country, and make sure to check out our database of admitted students - see essays, scores, grades, advice, and more from students at schools that you’re interested in. If you’re already in college, sign up to get paid for sharing your application materials.

 

About The Author

Drew Evans
Drew Evans

​Drew is a content and social media guru. When he’s not working, he loves to photograph, play music, play sports, and travel. He is also weirdly obsessed with Thai food, Girl Scout cookies, and learning new languages (even though he’s not fluent in any). For any editorial ideas, contact info@admitsee.com.




Browse Successful Application Files

bwill
Williams ‘19


Accepted to Williams, Claremont (CMC), Amherst, Swarthmore, Pitzer, Northwestern, Tufts, WashU, Grinnell, Rice, Emory, LMU

Hi! I'm a Williams '19 transfer who's passionate about social justice, tech, and STEM. I'd love to share what I learned from navigating this hectic process twice!
vicamit
Vanderbilt ‘20


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

Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholar at Vanderbilt and art enthusiast
ltan98
Fordham ‘20


Accepted to American, Fordham, Skidmore, Syracuse, UC Irvine, UCSB

Hi there! I went to an American school in Hong Kong from K-12 and will be starting my freshman year at Fordham University at Lincoln Center in the fall. If you're interested in theater and come from overseas, I would be of particular help to you!
hannah626
Duke ‘18


Accepted to UGA

I am a current junior at Duke studying biology, marine science, and markets and management studies

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