Being undeclared in college allows you to explore your interests to find the major that truly fits. You can take classes, talk to students and professors, and join clubs to explore your options. Some research even suggests students might be better off if they are undeclared. Some students do not feel as though they have enough information about the academic programs to make a decision, others do not know their own strengths and limitations, and others simply can't choose between different options.
If you have a competitive concentration in mind, but would like to use the first year of college to build a strong GPA, being an undeclared major is a likely choice. This is a particularly good idea if you currently are inadmissible to your desired program. Here is some helpful resources to assist you:
- Business Interest
- Health Science Interest (Pre Med, Vet, etc)
- Pre-law Interest
- STEM (science, technology, engineering, math)
- Personalized advising with a professional academic advisor.
- Strengths Inventory and coaching along the way.
- Networking opportunities.
- Reaching 45 credits? This is the time we will connect with you and check in
When you are ready to declare your major, visit the Declare My Major site.
OR....if you are ready to declare a major outside of our collegiate unit, visit the collegiate unit offering the major. If you need assistance finding a particular program, ask your professional advisor or a faculty member.
Why consider liberal arts or the social sciences for your business interest?
The ability to adapt to the changing job market will be essential for students. Students will need to acquire skills to adapt, be marketable and stay employed. Jobs require a skill set that isn’t just limited to technical knowledge. They require good interpersonal communication, critical thinking and problem solving skills all of which are best emphasized within the liberal arts. The work place of the future will need not only educated minds, but adaptable ones. Entrepreneur Media Inc. sited the following top skills:
- The ability to think for oneself
- The skills to communicate efficiently
- Problem Solving
- Technical skills
- Critical thinking and Analytic Skills
- Work Ethic and Dependability
- Creativity and Innovativeness
- Leadership qualities
Programs with a business twist:
- Cultural Entrepreneurship (cultural literacy, language and business focus)
- Graphic Design - marketing
- Interdisciplinary Studies (design your own major)
- Tribal Administration and Governance (online program)
Most majors within our collegiate unit require a second field of study either a minor or second major. This allows students to complement their major with a different area of study.
In addition, students with a business interest can select from a variety of business minors offered through the Labovitz School of Business & Economics (LSBE). Students are advised to review the UMD business degree prerequisites for most LSBE degrees by viewing any of their majors within the UMD Catalog. Students may contact the LSBE Advising office, 111a LSBE, 218-726-6594, [email protected] for further information or potential admission.
Health Science Interest
Preparation for a health science career begins with your undergraduate education. The Pre Med term is only a descriptive label. Students may choose a B.S. or B.A. degree in any area of study and also complete the prerequisite courses required for professional school.
Careers in the health professions demand more than just achievement in the life sciences. Maturity, compassion, leadership, ethical practice, integrity, communication skills, and knowledge of health care policy are essential for the health-care professional.
- Does a health career fit you? Visit the U of MN Twin Cities Health Careers Center for online exploratory course options.
- General guide of pre-requisites for professional school
- Get your bachelor's degree at UMD while preparing for various graduate programs through the U of MN Twin Cities campus.
- Review the U of MN system program application and prerequisite guides when considering professional or allied health programs such as Dentistry, Genetic Counseling, Medicine, Mortuary Science, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Veterinary Medicine.
- Term by term sample schedule for health science: Philosophy major with biology minor (update coming soon!)
- Design your own major with the Interdisciplinary Studies BA. Within the major a pre-designed Medical Arts & Sciences plan is available.
Math placement requirement based on ACT score and how students are placed into the appropriate course.
Preparation for medical, pharmacy, dental, optometry, or veterinary medicine school begins with your undergraduate education. Terms such as pre-medicine or pre-dental are only descriptive labels. Students may choose a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in any area of study and also complete the prerequisite courses required for professional school.
Professional and health science graduate programs/schools usually require a set of prerequisite courses for admission. The prerequisite course requirements vary from profession to profession and from school to school, but most professional schools of medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, optometry, physical therapy, occupational therapy, public health, and dentistry require or recommend a combination of recommended pre-requisite courses.
Students may contact the Swenson College of Science and Engineering Advising office (SCSE), 107 Montague Hall, 218-726-7585, [email protected] for further information or potential admission.
STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields are needed, however, should include a strong liberal arts and social sciences program to foster creativity, problem solving, and much more.
According to a Monster article, here are the top seven skills for 2021:
- Problem solving
- Data analytics
- Social media literacy
- Good business sense
- Willingness to learn
The above skills are woven into the liberal arts and social sciences. A liberal arts degree challenges students to think beyond their experiences, culture and what they know. They are exposed to social and personal growth development. They are required to select a major and a complementary minor (if required). The option to create their own major is also available to them (interdisciplinary studies - medical arts & sciences plan).
Articles of support
- STEM vs Liberal Education - HuffPost, March 2017
- Even in the age of STEM, employers still value liberal arts degrees - Daily News, April 2016
- We don't need more STEM majors. We need more STEM majors with liberal arts training. - The Washington Post, February 2015
What undergraduate degree will prepare you for the changing job market?
A degree that offers you flexibility to grow, challenge and apply your skills is valuable. You need to be willing to expand yourself beyond your comfort zone. If you know you need to improve your public speaking skills, UMD offers communication courses to assist you. Thinking globally? Take a world language course (i.e. CHIN, FR, GER, SPAN) or study abroad. Get involved with on campus programs, opportunities, student leadership, committees, etc. Get a job on campus or in the community to hone your job skills. Being involved will develop your time management, team building and work ethic skills.
Within a liberal arts degree students have the following opportunities:
- study abroad (short term, one semester, full year)
- undergraduate research
- teaching assistantship
- electives to strengthen or expand skills
These opportunities prepare students with problem solving, resiliency, adaptability, creativity and willingness to learn....and much more. If they want more, they can always select an elective course or courses to broaden their degree. These can all fit within the 120 minimum degree credits. Prepare a plan and schedule a meeting with your advisor.
U of MN resources (sampling)
UMD Swenson College of Science & Engineering preparation for professional school (dentistry, pharmacy, medical, veterinary and more)