Undeclared major

Are there any disadvantages if my daughter chooses “undeclared” for the alternate major on her UC application? On the other hand, will it hurt her admission chance if she doesn’t designate an alternative major? Thank you!

As far as the question pertaining to undeclared goes, it really depends on what university and what college.

For example, for UC-Berkeley, it won’t make any difference for L&S, since everyone goes in as undeclared. But for Engineering, it may make a big difference. Stating Undeclared for the College of Engineering is like applying for each and every major in the college, which is even harder to get in from an admissions standpoint than EECS, and EECS is already well below 10%.

Thank you for your response. More specifically, my daughter is applying for UCI. She first choice is math major. Would it lower her chance of admission if she chooses undeclared for the “alternate” major?

UCI admits into the University first and then into the major. Going Undeclared as an alternate major will not hurt her chances. If a student meets the threshold for the University but not their 1st choice or alternate major, they are placed into Undeclared anyways. Just make sure she knows the requirements on declaring a specific major later. Some majors are much easier than others to declare.

Page 24 of the UC application/admission quick reference guide spells out how Undeclared is handled by each UC campus and if they consider alternate majors:


UCI helpfully has a change of major information page from which you can look up criteria for any major.


Looks like math will require college GPA of 3.0 in major prerequisites and 2.0 overall.

Does the “threshold” mean the student’s GPA and test score fall within the middle 25%-75%? In my daughter’s case, her GPA (4.0) is at the 25% for UCI but her SAT score(1380) is somewhere in the middle range. Is it safe to say that she meets the threshold for the university, and therefore choosing undeclared for her major or alternate major will not affect her admission chance?

@doowife: UCI does not list their so called “threshold” for acceptance into the University so there is no way to guarantee if she will be accepted into the University let alone her major. It will be dependent upon the stats of each in-coming Freshman class.

UCI does however list average UC GPA and test scores for enrolled Freshman students by major which I believe you were given the link on another post??


She is competitive based on the 2019 data.

Just giving a heads up since many students are admitted into Undeclared each year, even though they listed a 1st choice and alternative major.

Selecting Undeclared as a 1st choice or alternate major will have no bearing on her chances for admission. It could impact her major choice once she has to declare but @ucbalumnus gave you a link for Math specifically. UCI does have the GPA and required course information for declaring or changing majors on their website.

UCSD has a similar approach to their acceptances where a student could be admitted into the University but not into their 1st choice or alternate major.

Thank you very much for the info!

not your question but with a 4.0 and 1350, UCI is a coin-toss at best. She may get in with a compelling application but, maybe not.

Please encourage her to apply broadly. UCR, UCSC, SDSU and CSULB are all viable targets.