Pros and Cons of Applying with an Undecided Major

Choosing a major represents a significant step in the college admission process, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. What if you can’t decide on a major? Does it look bad to colleges if you apply with an undecided major? Well, the short answer is NO. However, you should consider the pros and cons. In this post, we will look at the pros and cons of an undecided major in college.

Pros and Cons of Applying to College with Undecided Major

Co-authored by Pavan Somwanshi

It won’t be wrong of me to say that, for a college student choosing a major after high school is one of the most difficult decisions. With a few exceptions, most students have a tough time fixating their minds on one major. This nature is very obvious and understandable, factors like being sure of one’s interests, peer or family pressure, job availability, and popularity of the major; don’t make the decision-making process an easy play.

To make this process less daunting, students now have the option of choosing an Undeclared major. What’s that you might ask? Well, it’s pretty simple. When you apply for your college application after high school you don’t have to choose a major right at the moment, by choosing the option of undecided/undeclared major you can postpone the decision for later.

With the extra time and experience, up to your sophomore year, you are much well equipped to make a good decision. But as with everything else it has some pros and cons, which is exactly what I am going to share with you today. So buckle up, let’s explore this together.

Undecided Major - Pros and Cons
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To begin with, let’s first understand the pros of keeping an undecided major. This loosely translates to, what are the instances when choosing to keep a major undecided is a good idea.

Pros of Undecided Major

The primary and probably the most obvious reason is, not being sure of the major you want to commit to. This is normal behavior among students, and even the admission council is aware of it, which is why the option of undeclared major is being made available in the first place.

Moving further, It is possible that you could have a competitive disadvantage with respect to academics or your high school scores in a particular subject (relevant to your major) might not reflect your true potential. In this case, choosing an undecided major, can help you do the relevant courses needed for your potential subject of study and also covers the previous issue. This can help improve your chances of selection when candidates are considered to be admitted to the major.

Finally, a problem with deciding on a major early is that it can give you a vision block. It might be good in a different context(which we will explore later), here you prevent yourself from losing on opportunities. College is a land of new and amazing experiences. In your time there you will meet with new teachers, classes; and fields that you were unaware of.

Since you don’t have a major decided, you can explore, shift your attention or commit to something that you have newly found. An important thing to remember is that even after this it doesn’t have to be the final major you’ve decided on. You can change your major as many times as you want during your initial years.

Now moving on to the cons of choosing an undecided major. Which if we attempt to translate, would be, what are instances or reasons when choosing a major is a good idea.

Cons of Undecided Major

Students can avail of multiple financial aid packages if they have an exceptional performance to prove their worth. But that happens when students choose to be a part of a particular major. If you are absolutely sure about the major you want to choose, then declaring it early can give you access to perks not everyone can avail of. In our opinion, this isn’t something you should miss out on.

Another advantage of declaring a major early is that you get to do the beginning courses of your intended major from the start of your freshman year. This not only gives you a clear direction from the start but makes you familiar with the dynamics of the major, connect with peers who study in the same domain, and put you ahead of everyone else who will eventually choose this major. Although there isn’t a guarantee that all the colleges offer this, you can surely find it out with the respective college you are interested in.

To wrap it up, a relatively tiny but considerable advantage you have when you declare a major early on is securing your seat. As some small colleges have a limited or short amount of intake for students of a specific major and relying on choosing the major later a major in the hopes that you will definitely get in isn’t very fruitful.

Note: some universities do not allow students to enter a particular major if he/she has it undeclared. Research about that is essential.

What Should You Do?

Well, the choice is entirely subjective. You are the only person who is best aware of what you want and hopefully can make the right decision for yourself. As much as that is true, having a chat with a counsellor who has years of experience and is familiar with the field can help you make an even better decision. It is particularly beneficial if you are planning to declare a major early on.

So the best thing to do would be to consider each of the points mentioned above in detail, analyze yourself and your options, and make a decision accordingly.

About Pavan Somwanshi:


Pavan Somwanshi is an India-based freelance content writer and a curious human being trying to learn things every day to make a better sense of the world. Currently, Pavan is studying BSc Statistics from Pune University.

Additionally, Pavan is a management and entrepreneurship aspirant, a tech geek, an occasional philosopher, and a multitasker who excels at juggling tasks on both a professional and personal level.

He follows the liberal and egalitarian schools of thought, respects ideas, and encourages rational debates along with actively engaging in critical thinking. He finds his fulfillment with work, studies, communicating ideas, and being around people he cares about. You can connect with Pavan on LinkedIn.

Featured Image Source: Medium

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

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