Undecided About Your Major?

A school of silvery fish swim together in a dark pond.

Making the transition to college can make you feel like a small fish in a big pond—especially when you're undecided about your major. But don't feel adrift! At the UO, we provide the resources and contacts you'll need to stay afloat.

25% of incoming UO students aren’t sure about their majors when they enroll. Like the zebrafish (see above), a key species in genetics research here at Oregon, they dart in different directions but are part of the same school. You’ll be in great company as you fish around for a major.

Taking time to explore before you declare a major is a good choice if you:

  • have too many interests to choose just one
  • want to investigate new areas before you make up your mind
  • are good at a variety of things

One benefit to being undecided about your major is that your mind is open—a lot like your future. Among the over 260 academic programs you'll find here at the UO, there will be many you've never imagined. Each term, you'll find more than 3,000 classes to choose from in cutting-edge areas such as nanotechnology, sports marketing, product design, landscape architecture, ethnic studies, and many, many more.

At the UO, It's Never Sink or Swim

As you begin your work at the UO, you’ll be floating in a sea of choices. It’s a good idea to send up a white flag—an SOS to seek out solutions. Advisors in the academic departments and the Office of Academic Advising can help you find your way. Before you begin your freshman year, and throughout your academic career, you’ll work closely with them—asking questions, choosing classes, and considering your major decision.

  • During IntroDUCKtion, the on-campus orientation program, you’ll meet with a faculty advisor for undecided students.
  • Once you’re enrolled, your faculty advisor will work with you until you declare a major.
  • You can go to the Office of Academic Advising at any time during your college career for more help.
  • Each academic department has faculty members who’ll answer your questions about their field.
  • The Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence (CMAE) provides self-identified students of color with additional academic advising, advocacy, and other assistance.

Freshman Interest Groups

Choose one of the 50-plus Freshman Interest Groups (FIGs). You’ll satisfy graduation requirements while exploring a subject that intrigues you. A FIG is a group of courses connected by a theme, including a small seminar led by one of the university’s prominent faculty members. Research demonstrates that students who enroll in a FIG achieve greater academic success in their first year.

Making a Splash in Your Career

The major question may come down to a bigger issue: what do you want to be when you grow up? The UO Career Center offers resources to help you find your path, including career counseling and internships. Career workshops cover job searches, interviewing, professional networking, and portfolio development.

Swimming across the Finish Line

Research demonstrates that when you start your education at a residential four-year university, you’re more likely to finish your undergraduate degree. You’ll:

  • be more connected with faculty members and students
  • be more likely to serve as a student leader
  • be more involved in extracurricular activities
  • use more campus resources like the Student Recreation Center, computer labs, or libraries