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Exploring Why You Are Undeclared

A common question you might hear from other people:  why are you undeclared?

It's important to explore the reasons that you are undeclared and think about just how undecided you are about a major and career field.  It's normal--and okay--to to be undecided or working to explore/confirm your choice of major.

(Ask your friends, family, mentors, and professors:  how did they choose their major?  And how certain were they about that major?)

Research shows that 33% of college students change their major at least once during the first three years of college while 9% change their major multiple times (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2017).

In 2020, the top attributes that employers want (in order) from job applicants are problem-solving skills, ability to work in a team, a strong work ethic, analytic or quantitative skills, written communication skills, demonstrated leadership skills, and verbal communication skills (National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook, 2020).  Those skills can be gained through your experiences in any major at UC Merced.


Think about why you have not yet chosen a major.

Below are reasons some students have shared to explain why they believe they were undeclared.  Take a moment to reflect.  Do you connect with any of these reasons?

* I don't want to make the "wrong" choice.

* I don't know what options are available.

* I don't know where to start.

* I don't have an interest in any particular area of study.

* I have too many interests and can't narrow down my options.

* I am not used to having to make my own decisions.

* I am not ready to commit to a choice.

* I know what career I'd like to pursue after college but I don't know which majors are "best" for that career.

* I do not want to be in college.

* My parents or family members don't support the major I am considering.

* I feel overwhelmed with making a decision.

* I have other reasons not listed above.


Furthermore, reflect on how undecided you feel about choosing a major.

Consider which of these statements might apply to you:

* I have no idea which major I might declare.

* I have some ideas but I am interested in too many areas to decide.

* I have an idea but I need more information before I declare that major.

* I have an idea but I want to explore my options before I declare.

* I know what major I want but I am not ready to declare.

* I know what major I want but I have not completed the requirements to declare.

* I am interested in a certain major but have strengths in other areas.

* I am interested in a certain major but will not be able to declare that major based on my grades in the required courses, my academic standing, or the maximum term limit to complete that degree at UC Merced.

* I am ready to declare!


Talk with your Bobcat Advising Center advisor about your interests, academic strengths, and career goals as you explore different majors.  We are here to help you get ready to declare!


(adapted from Colorado State University)