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How easy is it to get into your first choice major if you apply as undeclared?

happybogostarhappybogostar 17 replies5 threads New Member
I am currently not sure what to major in. I am interested in both science and engineering, as well as history and psychology . If I apply as undeclared, will I get into my first choice major when I decide for colleges such as UC's?
I know that engineering majors are competitive, so if I decide to do engineering as undeclared affect admission chances into the engineering program?

Thanks ~jenny





edited June 2017
9 replies
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Replies to: How easy is it to get into your first choice major if you apply as undeclared?

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83308 replies740 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2017
    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-admissions/1947599-faq-does-intended-major-make-it-easier-or-more-difficult-to-get-into-a-college.html

    Changing from general undeclared into a competitive-admission major after enrolling can be very difficult.
    edited June 2017
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  • happy1happy1 23974 replies2404 threads Super Moderator
    If you want to study engineering then I'd strongly recommend you apply as an engineering major -- otherwise there is a reasonable chance you could end up at a college not being able to study what you want.
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  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC 30507 replies415 threads Forum Champion
    Go for the direct admit every time when it comes to Engineering/Science. Much easier to switch out into a less competitive major than to switch into a more competitive major.
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  • NCalRentNCalRent 6405 replies14 threads Senior Member
    If you are just looking to lower your admission threshold as an engineer, it's not a good idea. If you are really uncommitted - apply undeclared. That's what it is there for. Take some college level classes and figure it out in a year or two. Just know that you' may have to meet a GPA threshold and take some specific courses to get into the major.
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  • UCBUSCalumUCBUSCalum 1187 replies5 threads Senior Member
    Recently some students who were admitted from high school directly to the engineering schools at UCLA or UC Berkeley had confided to me that if they had not gotten into the engineering or computer science programs directly from high school, they probably would not be able to get into these programs from within that school. The competition for limited slots is too great for an underclassman to be admitted as a junior.
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  • PadreDeTresPadreDeTres 147 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Another excellent pathway that is less risky--and much less expensive--is to start with a California community college. You can take all the painful GE and pre-major courses in small classes with professional instructors, instead of huge lecture halls with distant professors. CCC students have priority for transfer in to UC as juniors. (You do need to excel at the CCC to be successful.) Your diploma will say "University of California." And you will save about $70K that you can use for grad school.
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  • UCBUSCalumUCBUSCalum 1187 replies5 threads Senior Member
    For impacted/competitive majors like computer science or electrical or other engineering, it might be very difficult to get in as a transfer from a cc. You should do your research.
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  • PadreDeTresPadreDeTres 147 replies6 threads Junior Member
    https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/infocenter/transfers-major

    @UCBUSCalum -- Here are the numbers. In Computer Science in fall 2016 (the most recent year for which data are published), UCI took 33% of transfer applicants and UCSD took 25%. Berkeley, UCLA and UCSB CS transfer acceptances were in the single digits--approximately the same as freshman acceptances. Motivated students can and do transfer.
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  • UCBUSCalumUCBUSCalum 1187 replies5 threads Senior Member
    Thanks. Yes, I agree motivated students who do very well can transfer, even to a top program like UCB.
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