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Does the academic program of interest matter at all?

geekgurlgeekgurl Registered User Posts: 297 Junior Member
Common app asks to pick an academic program of interest, does this matter at all in any way? I heard that they don't make students declare official majors until 2nd year but then why do they ask this? Do they have quotas or put applicants into separate applicant pool based on their general program choice? Do they see your stats and make a judgement like "ok so your math SAT score isn't as good as your language score yet you put CS as an interested program" or something like that?

Replies to: Does the academic program of interest matter at all?

  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 38,469 Super Moderator
    does this matter at all in any way?
    Not in the sense that they are filling up numbers by major (or as Harvard calls them - concentrations).Many/most students end up concentrating in a different department than what they originally planned, and Harvard knows this.
    I heard that they don't make students declare official majors until 2nd year
    Correct.
    but then why do they ask this?
    In part to gauge your interests and to see if the rest of your application ties in with your prospective field of study. A person saying they want to concentration CS with no CS activities, as an example, would invite more scrutiny.
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 9,855 Senior Member
    They are assembling a class and it gives a rough picture of the diversity of current interests- even if they are likely to change!
  • jzducoljzducol Registered User Posts: 556 Member
    On Harvard admissions summary sheet both your intended concentration and career are prominently listed at the top left portion of the page, so are your top two ECs right next to them. When this one page summary sheet is reviewed by everyone in the committee during the final decision it would be highly unlikely such information doesn't come into play. Despite often repeated the notion that Harvard doesn't admit by majors (or concentrations) I believe your intended studies, career and EC accomplishments play a very important role in admissions.
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