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- Question about Majors - Please help

joecartjoecart Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
edited August 2009 in College Admissions
Hi, I searched through the forums and couldn't really find an answer to this one.

When I apply for college and I have to declare a major, if that major is competitive, will it count against me and decrease my likelihood of admission?

Would it be wiser to just declare some noncompetitive major and then later, switch off.


I heard it does because when you declare a very popular/competitive major, the school wants diversity so it will reject more of the people with the same major.

can anybody with experience shed light on this?
Post edited by joecart on

Replies to: - Question about Majors - Please help

  • saejinbillysaejinbilly Registered User Posts: 205 Junior Member
    I don't think most care. If a university is divided into multiple colleges that each serve different areas of studies (for example, Cornell), then the college you apply to does matter a lot. However, for most colleges, I doubt that the major you declare when you apply matters as far as your chances for admission goes.
  • amarkovamarkov Registered User Posts: 2,288 Senior Member
    At many colleges, freshman don't actually have declared majors; what you put on your application is just what you think you might be interested in. No reason not to put down the one you really want for them.

    Even at colleges where freshmen are declared, I would reccommend against putting down some noncompetitive major and requesting a transfer later. Because majoring in what you want at your second choice school is FAR better than majoring in something you don't really want at your first choice school, and it is not guaranteed that you will be able to switch to the major you want.
  • ilurkphatilurkphat Registered User Posts: 96 Junior Member
    It does usually increase your chances, but sometimes switching isn't possible.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 34,272 Super Moderator
    I believe the place it might make a difference is if the majors are in different schools within the university. Then even if you want to switch you may have to compete to get into the other school later.
  • joecartjoecart Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
    thanks for the input.

    For cal though, as engineering is harder to get into, doesn't your choice of major affect your admission chances?
  • amarkovamarkov Registered User Posts: 2,288 Senior Member
    Yes, it does. Bioengineering, EECS, and undeclared are the most popular, and therefore hardest to get into.

    Remember, though, you aren't GUARANTEED to be able to switch to the major you want. And no matter how much you want to get into Berkeley, I doubt it's worth taking a major you don't really want.
This discussion has been closed.