Hello! I’m a senior in high school and I don’t know what major to apply to. I intended to apply as an Econ major because I’m interested in the subject but, truth be told, idk if it’s a major I will stick with; I kind of want to explore my options. I’m leaning towards applying as undecided but I’m not sure. In terms of getting admitted, would it be better to apply as an Econ major or undecided? Is it easier to switch majors if I apply as undecided? How hard would it be to switch majors down the line? I have a pretty decent GPA (4.3) and extracurriculars if that helps.
After extensive research and personally talking to several admission officers, I would strongly suggest you apply with a major. I would not apply undecided. I would apply with a major that you are truly interested in. Explore what you are interested in and look at the competitiveness, future job prospects, grad school, etc… of your possible major choices. Make sure you have some experience/EC’s with those choices. Then you can decide what is best for you.
Here is a great thread about your very question.
UCI conveniently has a page listing change of major criteria for every major:
Basically, the difficulty of changing major depends on whether and how popular the new major is relative to the department’s capacity. Those with the greatest student interest relative to department capacity tend to have the most difficult or competitive requirements to change into.
Hmm okay that’s really interesting thank you! I did research into the major for a while and I thought it was best fit for me at least right now. The major seems to produce good job prospects and I think it’s a nice mixture of something I’m interested in and something more practical. My only concern is not having classes and extracurriculars that show I’m interested. I’m taking Calculus right now and have been taking high level English and science courses up till this point as well. But I haven’t taken higher level history courses which is my concern. I do in one of my essays explain why . Would my class records be convincing enough? Oh and for the alternative major, should I put another econ related major or could I put undecided in that category?
If you are like my daughter, you are applying right now. It is too late to add extracurriculars now, since the deadline is in a couple of days. Apparently they extended the UC deadlines to Dec.4.
If you have work experience that you can put that down, and maybe you can use that? I am not sure of the essay prompts for UCI? You can explain why you want to be an ECON major if they ask? Maybe use some examples in the classes you have already taken?
For the alternative major, I would pick something that you are interested in that you could live with. You may check if the major is in the same School as Econ. Sometimes it is easier to request a change in major to economics in your second year if you don’t get in right off the bat. This is campus dependent. Check into that at UCI.
Remember you can always change you major if needed in the future.
UCI admits into the University first and then into the major. If you do not select an alternate major on the application, you could be placed into
Undeclared/Undecided anyways if you are not admitted into your 1st choice major.
There is no right or wrong option for you but as Undeclared will be required to go through the process of getting a specific GPA in the required courses before declaring the major. For some majors there is no guarantee you will be able to change. Also no school requires that you specialize in any field as a HS applicant, so your EC’s do not always need to reflect your major interest.