Switching to CS or business from undecided

My son is considering either CS or business as a major. Is it difficult to apply undecided and switch to CS or business? Is he better off applying as CS or business instead?

Boston College, UMich, Northwestern, Notre Dame

At most schools, it is very difficult to transfer into CS. Some schools do not even allow it.

In addition, the admission rates for CS are much lower at many schools. So your son would have a tougher time being admitted to CS. There are a handful of schools where business would be a tougher admit. UPenn Wharton comes to mind.

It’s probably best to figure out what he really wants before making a school list and applying.


BC, ND and UMich have separate undergrad business schools which have direct admit. NW doesn’t have a business school. For the direct admit business schools you should review how they handle transfers in after freshman year since transfers are often difficult/competitive. If business is of interest it would be better to apply directly rather than planning/hoping for a transfer after freshman year.

Maybe add a few schools that you could realistically do either? Something like Penn State. Enter DUS and then choose after sophomore year.

If son is math friendly maybe consider Industrial Engineering. Look at Georgia Tech’s ISyE. Mix of business classes and CS classes. The business school also offers an lT concentration.

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Like others have said above, it really depends on the school to which you’re son is applying. He should look closely at that. There seem to be fewer barriers switching majors including to CS or Bus/Econ at many liberal arts schools. For example, I don’t think Bowdoin or Williams had restrictions when we looked at them. MIT also does not pin you down. Obviously Penn, CMU, and UMich are a different story. Internal transfers there, while possible, are difficult.

If direct admission to a major is more competitive than general undeclared admission, then changing into the major later will be difficult in terms of college GPA requirements and/or competitive admission.

Changing from general undeclared to CS at UIUC, Washington, Texas, UCB, UCLA, CMU will be difficult. But doing so at CSU Dominguez Hills will not be.

For your specific schools, search “[college name] change major [major]” to see how difficult it is.