College is a very exciting time, but it’s also filled with various decisions you must make. The biggest decision you have to make is what you want to major in. A fair amount of people come into university already declared. However, there are benefits to going into a university like UCR undeclared, and declaring later.

1. Statistics

According to the University of LaVerne, “50% – 70% of students change their majors at least once, most will change majors at least 3 times before they graduate.” Something may sound like a fun thing to major in when you’re filling out your college application, but once you take a class on it you could lose interest. At UC Riverside, our CHASS and CNAS undeclared academic advisors want you to avoid that statistic and are there to help you find your fit instead of just tell you about your declared major.

2. Exploring

When you come in with a declared major to UCR, taking your Breadth requirements becomes a hassle. You don’t want to take Dance 5, if you’re an Economics major. You will lose interest and slack off. However, as an undeclared student you’re looking to see if your Breadth requirements can lead you to a major. If you’re constantly looking to find your fit you can click with classes more and they’re not as boring to take.

3. Freedom of classes

Not only do you get to enjoy classes more, you get more freedom to pick the classes you take. Rather than thinking about what will help your major, you’ll think what will help you find a major. People in different colleges such as BCOE or CNAS and are declared have restrictions on the classes they can take because while they might be breadth requirements, you can’t always take Dance for example because of a major restriction.

4. Inconvenience

Every time you want to change your major, you have to make an appointment with an adviser in order to get the change made official. Advisers in most popular departments at UCR get busy so it’s sometimes hard to make an appointment in the time you need to. At the end of quarters, people constantly switch majors and book appointments. So if you’re one of the people who are unsatisfied in your major, you have to squeeze in an appointment and sometimes it can take weeks to actually get one. If you’re undeclared, you don’t have to meet with an academic advisor until you’re ready to declare. It saves you the hassle.

5. Reaffirming

In high school you know what classes you like. Some people work better in Chemistry, other people can’t understand it to save their lives. You can love numbers, and hate grammar. These classes you’re good at, or enjoy can help shape what major you should go into. And once you get to college, you can take other classes in the field you already like and reaffirm your choice before formally declaring.

If you know what you want, amazing, go ahead and declare. But if you’re struggling to find what you love, or you’re just not ready to commit to one major go in undeclared. There’s no harm, and you get to take your time!

Mia Mahzouf

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