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5 Reasons to Apply Undeclared

Apr 21, 2011

So the high school graduation cap has been tossed in the air and you've been accepted to the college of your choice. Now comes the inevitable question: What's your major? If you don't know, don't panic: you don't necessarily need to know. You can always choose to enter college as 'undeclared' or 'undecided' and make your decision later. In fact, being undeclared can be beneficial.

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1. Allow Yourself Time to Get to Know…You

In other words, take time to reflect. What motivates you? What are your particular interests? What do you see yourself doing five, ten, or twenty years down the road? It's not so important to know the answer to these questions on the first day of classes. Some self-exploration is vital to making the right choices about which academic path you end up following. Being aware of your personality and likes and dislikes are important first steps.

2. Shop your Interests

Who doesn't like to sample a variety of foods before selecting a main entrée? Being undeclared allows you to take courses in a wide range of subjects, and you can hone in on a career and academic path based on the courses you enjoy. An added advantage: advisors can guide you to general education courses that fulfill requirements in a number of majors, so you're able to explore and meet your requirements at the same time.

3. Avoid the Hassle and Potential Cost of Changing Majors

Being undeclared when you enter college could have a financial advantage. If you spend your first year or two pursuing a major and then decide to change, some or many of the courses you've previously taken may not count toward your new major. You might wind up having to attend school for an extra semester or two, or even longer, as you start over again. This will likely result in spending more money on your college education. Being undeclared while you finalize your decisions can help you avoid this pitfall.

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4. If It Doesn't Fit, Don't Commit

A commitment of any type is not easy. Choosing a college major is…well, a major decision, and should not be taken lightly. Entering college with an undeclared major allows you to avoid making a commitment you're not comfortable with for the entirety of your college career. Remember: being undecided does not mean you can't or won't make a decision. You've simply chosen not to commit at this time.

5. Take Advantage of Career Counseling and Other Services

The good news is that you don't need to be in the decision-making process alone. Colleges and universities offer many services to help students decide which careers might be best for them. Many colleges also offer exploratory courses in a variety of fields to provide students with ways to learn more and discover their interests further. Career counselors, academic advisors and professors can help you make decisions on courses and programs that could lead to a specific career. Being undeclared can ensure that you take full advantage of all the resources your school offers.

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