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Undeclared Frequently Asked Questions


 When can a student declare if they choose “undeclared” initially?

Students can declare their major at any time, even before the fall semester starts. Students will have many opportunities to declare a major. Your first-year academic adviser can help point you in the right direction.

 Are you sure it’s OK to be undeclared?

Yes, taking time to explore your academic options is a good idea. But start your explorations early so that you can learn about progression standards within majors. Check out the Undergraduate Majors pages and Career Guide to JMU Majors to explore and learn more.

 What are progression standards in a major?

Progression standards are the requirements some majors have to continue moving through the major. These may be things like a required course or courses or an application process. Progression standards can be seen in the Undergraduate Majors pages.

 When do I have to declare my major?

Students need to declare a major by the third week of their third semester (typically sophomore year). You will be reminded about the declaration deadline at various intervals.

 What classes will I take if I come in undeclared?

You will focus on the General Education core classes that all students must complete.

 Will I be behind if I come in undeclared?

Typically, students will not be behind if students come in undeclared, but it does depend on majors of interest and when a student decides to declare. Some majors have many required classes, so delaying may put a student at risk of being behind. Talk to your first-year adviser about the options you are considering and explore your options early.

 How can I explore my options before coming to JMU?

Use the Undergraduate Majors pages and Career Guide to JMU Majors to explore and learn more about majors.

 How can I explore my options once I am able to enroll in classes?

As a first-year student you can also enroll in UNST 102 “Career and Academic Planning”, a 1-credit course that will help you explore factors important in your decision-making process and your career and academic options.

 Who will my academic adviser be if I come in undeclared?

All undeclared students are assigned a first year academic adviser who works in Career and Academic Planning. These career and academic advisers have knowledge and experience to help you identify and explore options.

 Who and what can help me decide on a major?

There are many wonderful resources to help you make a choice! Your first-year adviser will be a great person to talk with about options you may be considering.

Even before you arrive at JMU you can use some resources such as these to start exploring the possibilities: Undergraduate Majors pages and Career Guide to JMU Majors. We also have more interactive resources such as Focus and our one-credit UNST 102 Career and Academic Planning course to help you explore the personal characteristics important to you and career and academic options. In addition to these resources, you can meet with anyone in Career and Academic Planning to talk further about your major and career decision-making.

General Education classes will give you the opportunity to experience academic fields of potential interest and your professors are great people to talk with about these fields. And don’t forget your fellow students; upperclassmen can share about their learning experiences within different majors.

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