Students talk

Undeclared? Academic Advising’s ‘Majors in Minutes’ Event Can Help

“What’s your major?” This common question might be a major point of stress if you’re an undeclared college freshmen or sophomore.

Not at Chapman University. Instead, undeclared students are offered support in their journey to their just-right field of study and encouraged to take advantage of the unique opportunity they have— the opportunity to explore.

Hosted by Academic Advising on Tuesday, Oct. 1, Majors in Minutes gives students the freedom to explore majors in a “speed-dating,” roundtable-style setting with student peers representing majors and minors from all disciplines.

Students smile at table.
At Majors in Minutes, students share their first-hand experiences with different fields of study.

Student to Student

“Majors in minutes is from a student perspective. And that is the goal,” says Dina Bartoloni Mai, assistant director of the Academic Advising Center.

At the event, students can hear from their peers first-hand about different fields of study.

“A lot of the feedback we do get is it was great to speak with another student, it was great to hear what the classes were like and that it was great to hear their passion for their major or minor,” says Roberto Coronel, director of academic advising.

Students walk around to different tables.
With representatives from majors across disciplines, there is no shortage of conversation.

Who Should Attend

Primarily for first years and sophomores, Majors in Minutes can help students with undeclared majors begin the process of finding a major.

“We have students from all kinds of majors who come to learn more,” says Bartoloni Mai, “The percentage that are undeclared is usually between 30 and 40%. Sometimes other students are thinking about changing their major or they’re looking at a second major, or they want to learn more about minors.”

The recommended deadline for choosing a major is generally by the end of sophomore year. Getting a head start on the exploration process can be key in making the right decision.

Undeclared and Scared?

It may seem like everyone else has their life plan set, says Bartoloni Mai, however, many students make changes.

“You have no idea how many of your peers around you right now will end up changing their major,” says Bartoloni Mai, “When you come to college, you might have a sense of what a major is about. But a lot of times you don’t and that’s okay.”

The best course forward is to learn as much as possible about fields of study that interest you. One way to do this is to take exploratory General Education classes in disciplines that interest you.

“I think that’s great to say I’m not 100% sure. I’m an explorer,” says Bartoloni Mai.

Academic Advising is here to help. “It’s absolutely normal to be undeclared,” says Coronel, “We can help students explore different options or courses they can begin to take to explore.”

Students discuss at a round table.
Students listen intently to a student representative talk about her major.

The Case for Loving Your Major

Shouldn’t you just choose a major that will get you a job? “You can get a job with any major. Most of the time students do better if they’re in a major that they love,” says Bartoloni Mai, “In this age, where there’s so many jobs out there that do not have a corresponding undergraduate major. The important thing is to get a bachelor’s degree.”

Not only does finding your passion pay-off, it’s critical for your success. “If a student is in a major that they don’t enjoy, the end result could be a very negative one,” says Coronel. “It’s going to be reflected in their academics.”

The Event

98% of student attendees reported that Majors in Minutes will most likely help them choose a major. Hosted on Oct. 1 from 6 to 8 p.m., the event is strategically scheduled with plenty of time for students to reach out to a faculty program advisor or to continue exploring fields of study before spring registration. Pizza is provided, students can come and go at any time and the casual atmosphere makes it easy to start a conversation.

“The Academic Advising Center is the home for undeclared students. We are the students’ college, we are their home,” says Coronel, “Major in Minutes really highlights our commitment to supporting students’ major exploration from the very beginning.”

For more information, see the Major in Minutes webpage. See the Academic Advising’s Resources for Undeclared Students.  

Stephanie House

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