What Is An Undeclared Major?

What is an undeclared major? Read this article further to understand if it is good or bad to put undecided on a college application?

TCM Staff

29th October 2020

Even after completion of high school, if you are not sure of what major you should take in college then that’s okay. That is when you can choose an Undeclared major option. But, what is an undeclared major? An undeclared or undecided major allows you to explore the stream you are willing to pursue your degree in and choose your major that interests you as well as has a good scope to build your career. By choosing an undecided major option in college application you are seeking some time before deciding the specialization you want to study during your degree program.

So, what if you do not know what to major in? Can one go for an undecided major? The answer is yes, if you are unsure about what major you should choose you can always go for the undecided option. But if you have a major in mind and you are sure about what major you want to study then definitely you can go for a specific major. 

By going with an undeclared major you are telling the college that you are open to exploration. During the freshman year of college, you can decide what actually interests you and what you want to pursue as a career in the future. 

Some students often worry and may wonder if it is bad to put undecided on a college application? But going undecided is not something that one should be afraid of. It’s just that one still needs to explore and find out their interest area. 

Don't pick a random major from the very beginning just because you don't want to go undecided as a major option. 

Table Of Content

What Does An Undecided Major Mean

Will Undecided Major Hurt Your Chances

Are Undeclared Major and Exploration Same

Does Every College Have “Undecided” Option For Major

Pros Of Going With Undeclared Major Option

Cons Of Going With Undecided Major Option

What Does An Undecided Major Mean?

Choosing an undecided college major simply means that you of course want a college degree but not yet so sure about your major or specialization. For example, you know you want to pursue business but aren’t sure what you will be specializing in. 

In that case, you can take classes from different majors and general education courses to know what is the area you wish to specialize in before you finally decide on what specialization is best for you. 

Will Undecided Major Hurt Your Chances?

Well, it is not wrong if you are thinking if an undeclared major in your college will help or hurt your chances of acceptance. However, as previously mentioned it is not bad to go undecided with major options during college applications. It simply means that you need some more time to decide your specialization and meanwhile focus on scoring a good GPA in your freshman year. 

On the contrary, it is also not wrong in going declared or rather “intended” with major options while applying for colleges. As it is not that you cannot get your major changed. You will have chances in the future to get your major changed. But, do this only when you have a little knowledge about what you want to pursue, or in which field you see your career growth. So think wisely and opt for the option which you think supports your current situation. 

Are Undeclared Major and Exploration Same?

The answer to this question is yes.

Exploration is simply a different term for Undecided. Many schools name it Exploration because a student is in the phase of exploring what specialization one needs to take. 

Don’t panic if you don’t see any option as Undecided in a college application. You can simply go for Exploration. 

But you have to decide on a major to graduate; you cannot simply afford to explore and not decide on a major. 

Does Every College Have “Undecided” Option For Major?

Yes, almost all colleges give this option except for a few. The very reason why most colleges give this option is that they want all the students to be able to start a college degree even if they are not sure about their major. 

By the time you take admission in college and explore different courses, you get to know what actually interests you that you may want to major in.

Pros Of Going With Undeclared Major Option

Is it better to apply undecided or with a major? Well, let’s look at some of the pros of going with an undeclared major option. This will help you understand the benefits of going with an undeclared major.

More Diversity

Starting your college with an Undecided major gives you the freedom and opportunity of attending a variety of classes along with your general classes so you end up having a diversified friend circle. 

Sometimes attending only major classes and classes of general education can be very boring but this way you get to interact with a wide range of people. 

As an undecided major you will be free to attend several classes with different colleges within your university. It will give you a wide perspective and will help you to look beyond your horizon. 

You May Find a Passion You Wouldn’t Have

Being an undecided major even helps to discover your passion. Sometimes many students come up with the concept that after attending college as an undecided major option they have discovered such passions that they never realized they had. 

This makes them happy and motivates them to even work harder for their newfound passion. 

You Get to Try Out Every Major You’re Interested In

Thirdly, being undecided helps you to try out every major you are interested in. But if you have decided your major and have declared it then you are simply told to attend stipulated classes of that major. 

This gives you the luxury to try out all possible options and then decide what is that you want to pursue. 

Cons Of Going With Undeclared Major Option

Is it bad to put undecided on a college application? Let’s look at some of the cons of going with an undeclared major option listed below. This will help you figure out the disadvantages of opting for an undecided major. 

You Take Classes That Will End Up Not Counting Towards Your Major

One of the major demerits is you end up taking classes of different majors which does not count to your major. But the credit hours will still be counted in the overall number of credit hours and this just causes you to take more classes than the average student.

Some classes count for general education courses in specific majors. 

It Could Cause you to Graduate Late

The second major demerit is that taking classes of other majors won't count towards your majors. Meaning you have to devote that many credit hours towards your major. It may take more time for you to finish those many hours. 

It may cause you to graduate late. You may graduate after four years.

Also, if you are attending college for one more year then you also have to pay for one more year. Thus it consumes more time and money.

But this is worth it if you find your interest and passion instead of just jumping into any random major. 

It Could Confuse You Further

Though the chances of one getting confused are very rare, it can still happen. It may confuse you further. Taking classes of all different majors as an undecided major student may confuse you further. You might not be convinced and you may land up confused. 

But colleges provide all kinds of resources, assistance, and even advisors who will be helping you in choosing a major and you will not end up confused. 


There is no definite sure shot answer that whether going to college as undecided is the right choice or not. Though many success stories in the past tell us that even people who went with undeclared majors to college have also done phenomenally well in their career after finding their passion and interest. But again it is simply one’s individual decision if you are open to all options and don't mind trying out and exploring different majors, then yes going with an undecided major is the right choice for you. But if you are sure about your major then there is no point in going for an Undeclared major option. 

This choice gives you the luxury and freedom to try and test and then decide which no other option provides. So if you are ready to explore then there shouldn't be anything stopping you. 

So, yes listen to yourself what you want and then take action. Good luck!

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