Undeclared Academic Advising

Undeclared, or undecided, students may feel unsure for a variety of reasons about choosing an academic major at Pitt-Johnstown.

Academic Success Center

Students often have interests in several areas but do not feel they have enough information about particular programs or careers to make a firm decision. 

Students sometimes simply do not want to have to choose among programs at an early stage of their college careers, or they want to remain undeclared while keeping options open. 

Other students are committed to completing a college education but are genuinely undecided about a specific field. Regardless of the reason, many students are wise to postpone declaring a major. The Academic Success Center can help.

The Facts

  • Approximately 20 percent of entering, first-year Pitt-Johnstown students enroll as undeclared
  • Studies show that between 50 and 70 percent of college students change their major at least once, and nearly one in three will change multiple times
  • Additional research indicates that 80 percent of college student are uncertain about a major, even if they have declared a major

When Should You Consider Becoming an Undeclared Student? 

You are not alone. In many cases, students declare majors that turn out to be an inappropriate fit for their interests, values, skills, and personality. It is also true that many students change their interests and career goals once they’ve completed one to two semesters. If you find yourself unsure about your current major, consider becoming Undeclared until you are ready to make a decision. ASC staff works closely with Real World Career Services to help you with major and career exploration.

Your Status is Undeclared--but Choose to be Exploratory

Delaying the choice of a specialized course of study will allow you some flexibility to explore programs and disciplines. However, you should become active and engaged in this exploration process. Taking various courses to determine interest and aptitude for a discipline is a good place to start, but it is not enough. Pitt-Johnstown offers more than 40 different majors; yet, most incoming students can name only a small handful. Your advisor, as well as Real World Career Services staff, can help you explore majors and careers and choose classes that represent broader disciplines. Ideally, your eventual choice will match your talents, passions, and aspirations. While your academic advisor will help guide you, it is up to you to take charge of the exploration process. You are allowing yourself the time to make an informed decision, so be sure to take advantage of it. Be sure that you are moving forward. Most students should be moving into a major by the fall semester of the sophomore year.

How to declare your major

Before declaring your major, it is always a good idea to discuss your plans with your academic advisor. To declare a major, visit the appropriate division office. For example, if you want to declare pre-business, visit the Business and Enterprise Division office in 101 Biddle Hall. You will complete a Major Change Request form and you will be assigned a new academic advisor. See: Academic Divisions

Expected student learning outcomes

Through the ASC Undeclared advising experience, you will:

  • Understand degree progress and make appropriate course selections
  • Navigate and use the PeopleSoft on-line registration system
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the value of a liberal arts higher education
  • Access the Academic Calendar and recognize important dates
  • Utilize campus resources
  • Demonstrate the ability to make appropriate decisions about educational and career plans
  • Create and review a personalized advising action plan
  • Demonstrate the ability to assess life and career values and goals