Which school is best for Undecided Major - TCNJ, Marist, Drew or Muhlenberg

Hi - i’m a HS senior and am not sure what i will major in when i go to college next year. I am applying to TCNJ, Marist, Drew and Muhlenberg. Does anyone know which of these schools are best for an undeclared major - good advising, programs, etc to help guide undeclared to a major? or are there other schools that stand out as being really good for providing support for undeclared majors - in the NJ/NY/PA area? THANK YOU!

Even if you’re undeclared, you must have areas of interest, and other areas of focus that you’ve ruled out. If you had to name your top 3-5 possible majors right now, what would they be? Do you have particular non-major interests (arts, music, clubs, non-major foreign languages, etc.) that you hope to pursue? Often it’s more the array of available opportunities that will distinguish one school from another, more so than a generalized measure of which is better for an undecided student. You’ve already filtered for schools that don’t lock you into a major choice early on.

As for peer school to consider, have you looked at Ursinus, McDaniel, Ithaca, St. Mary’s of Maryland?

Are you a NJ resident? Do you have budget constraints? How did you come up with your initial list? What are your stats?

yes, i live in nj… i have 3.9 GPA and 1420 SATs. the schools i picked seem to be more liberal arts and on the smaller size which i thought would be better for someone who is undecided. i do have interest in science, psychology… maybe computers or possibly engineering but really don’t know. definitely not business or arts.

OK. No budget constraints?

TCNJ is a fine school. If computers and possibly engineering are really on the table, I would add Rowan to your list.

You mention engineering; I would suggest looking at Lafayette in PA, Union in NY and, Trinity in CT. Also, Grove City and Elizabethtown, PA as safeties, All are Liberal Arts Colleges that offer engineering majors.

TCNJ and Rowan are solid in-state options. Also, take a look at SUNY New Paltz as a lower-cost option to the private LACs. Good luck.

Hi, I am in NJ too. I don’t see many comments about these schools on CC, although TCNJ gets more than the others. I know people that have gone to these colleges and liked them. If their Admissions Offices have Instagram accounts, some schools are doing events now where you can ask questions. Or they may have virtual events with questions. My D had questions about U of Delaware and I sat in on a virtual meeting she had with an Admissions Officer. I didn’t say anything but had to attend because she is under 18.

It’s very common to be undecided at your age and in most cases it’s not that hard to change majors unless you want something very specific, I.e. engineering or nursing or certain business programs. If you are interested in engineering, I am not sure what programs these schools have for that. Maybe look at Stevens, NJIT or Rowan. Agree with Lafayette. Good luck with your choices.

If engineering is a serious possibility, check to see if you can switch in at tcnj. When we looked several years ago, it was difficult to move around in their engineering department, because it’s on the small side. Rowan felt more flexible, but these are the types of questions you need to ask. Also, what advising do they have for undeclared?

Rutgers is obviously huge but their school of arts and sciences does not require choosing a major until sophomore year and they have a lot of options. Their priority deadline is Nov 1st.

There’s no reason not to apply to all 4, plus some of the others suggested. You don’t need to decide on one until the spring. Send in your apps, see what offers you get, go to accepted students days, sit in on classes, do virtual sessions. Hopefully it will become clear where you fit.

Oh and please check on budget with your family. Look for the net price calculator for each school and complete (you’ll need 2020 tax info) it to get an estimate of cost. Did you do the fafsa? Some schools may also want the css profile financial aid form.


Run the NPC and apply EA whenever possible.

Email the Dept. of CS, Engineering, and Psychology, asking each:
if I start as an Undecided major, what are the conditions to get into a primary major in your department at the end of freshmn year? If it’s possible to enter your major then, is there a limited number of seats? What other choices are there for students ho cnnot switch?

The optimal answer will be a variation on “you come into the Office and sign a paper that your adviser also signs on”.
Less optimal will be “it’s difficult, you need to have taken these pre-req courses and achieve xxGPA”.
Less good still is “it’s competitive among those who reached a xxGPA taking the pre-reqs”.
and worst is: “not possible”.


It would probably be good to build a list of schools that are Reach, Match and, Safety in terms of your academic stats. Regarding your stats, is your GPA weighted or unweighted because this makes a big difference? Also, your budget.?

Regarding which school of the four on your list is best to go for an undeclared student, it depends on the major and the school. Generally, smaller schools and LACs are better for undecided students but not always the case. Engineering, in particular, is usually a major that you should start studying as a freshman; you can switch out of engineering to another major, but harder to switch to engineering.

Here is a suggested list based on your stats, academic interests, and desired location. I’m listing them by reach by probable acceptance rates.

TCNJ Engineering
Suny New Paltz
Rowan Engineering
Grove City

Rutgers is always a good option for in-state NJ. Just an FYI, Marist, I believe, doesn’t offer an engineering major. Muhlenberg and Drew offer 3/2 engineering programs explained in the link below. All the other schools on this list should offer a specific engineering major and programs for your other areas of potential interest.

^just a note on the above: Grove City is a LAC with engineering, but it’s also hardcore Christian conservative - it refused to comply with Title IX (ie., “government overreach”) and can’t accept federal funding (ie., no federal loans, no Pell grants); it’s very proud of its independence and is very clear in its religious and political orientation. Chapel is required once a week (in addition to church, which it is not intended to replace). There are several courses in Christian theology and the way Christianity underpines civilization, with a capstone course to arm students with Christian responses to the challenges of the modern/postmodern world.

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Thanks for pointing that out about Grove City. I missed it.

Hi - thank you and all people who have responded to my question. my weighted GPA is 3.98 and unweighted is 3.9. as for budget, some of the private schools may be too much if i don’t get merit aid.

No pb, I miss things too :slight_smile:

What’s your budget?
(ie., what parents can contribute from their income and savings + savings from your summer or part time job + $5,500 ie., max you can borrow as a freshman)

For merit, run the NPC on Ursinus, Susquehanna, Elizabethtown, which have been mentioned before.

I am a current Marist students and several of my friends went in undecided. They have a FOCUS class that exposes individuals to all types of majors to help them get a better idea as to what they may want to do. My friends have found this very helpful