Unsure of what you want to study in college? You're not alone — about 12 percent of Colby-Sawyer applicants list their major as undeclared. In fact, most college students (up to 80 percent in some surveys) switch majors at least once. This makes sense as you research your options and discover new interests.
If you are considering starting college undeclared or aren’t sure about a major right now, Colby-Sawyer has some tips to help you choose a school that will support you while you decide.
Reach out to each school on your interest list and request contact information for an admissions counselor, a faculty member or an adviser who works with undeclared students. If possible, visit campus and ask questions that will help you evaluate which school can offer the guidance and resources you need.
Questions to ask:
How will you support me as an undeclared student?
If I start undeclared, can I still graduate in four years?
Do you have a self-designed major?
Colby-Sawyer’s self-designed major provides a strong liberal arts foundation with opportunities for in-depth study in multiple academic areas. Working with faculty and your adviser, you can build a program that centers on your interests with the minor of your choice, or combine your studies with a concentration in art history, global affairs, social justice, or technology and society.
The world needs well-rounded individuals who can think critically, make connections across disciplines and pursue their passions. What do you love to read, discuss, learn and do? Consider your three or four favorite subject areas and activities and compare them to what the colleges on your list offer. Are there majors, minors, elective credits and clubs that support your interests?
At Colby-Sawyer, selecting a major doesn’t limit you from exploring all of your interests. For example, if you care about environmental issues, are intrigued by social media, appreciate art and love to dance, you may consider majoring in environmental studies, minoring in communications or business administration, taking painting or dance courses, and performing or exhibiting your art through clubs on campus.
Sometimes it’s just a matter of collecting your thoughts and talking them through to get a clear sense of what opportunities are available. You may discover that choosing a major doesn’t limit you when you choose a college that supports your freedom to pursue your other passions.
No, that’s not a typo … it’s a way to set yourself apart to employers when you graduate college. Employers want professionals who can put knowledge into practice. Verify that each college you consider, regardless of major, has a robust internship program that supports your professional development.
At Colby-Sawyer, every student in every major completes an internship that complements their transformative academic experience. In fact, 98.8 percent of our 2017 graduates were employed and/or in graduate school within six months of graduation, and 51 percent had a job offer from their internship or clinical sites.
Best of luck! We welcome any questions you may have about being undeclared or the college application process.