Undeclared Students

Despite the pressure you may be feeling from others to choose a major, beginning your college experience as undeclared is more than okay. Choosing a major is a big decision – one that deserves your time and attention. It is easy for others to try to sway your choice. You may have heard things like, “You’re great with children, be a teacher” or “With your ability to debate, you should be a lawyer.” While these statements may be true, it is important that you do not let them be your only influence in declaring a major. Your decision should be made by exploring who you are, discovering your strengths and interests, and knowing what is important to you.

You may be seeing a theme in everything you have read about being undeclared – YOU!  It is your right, your responsibility and ultimately your inner-voice that you need to listen to when making your choice in a major and career. The table below provides you with tasks to begin examining who you are. 

Self-Focused Academic-Focused
Brainstorm – make an uncensored list of all your interests: things you do in your free time, extra-curricular activities you have been a part of, subjects you really enjoyed, topics you read about, etc.  Complete the Major Elimination Activity – you may not know what you want to do, but you probably know what you DO NOT want to do. So narrow your possibilities down right away. Cross out the NMU degrees that are a NO.  
Take Self-Assessments – learn more about yourself with a variety of tools.  View What to do with a major in….brochures – review introductory information for each academic program at NMU. 
Participate in Extra-curricular activities – take advantage of campus activities, programs, lectures, or workshops to learn new information and diversify your views.   Watch NMU Academic Videos – listen to students talk about their academic experiences in their own unscripted words.
Conduct Career Exploration – explore thousands of occupations to see what sparks your interest.  Examine Major Details – know the program requirements  of majors you are considering: specific GPA, pre-requisites, practicum or study abroad experiences, second-level of admission into the program, etc. 
  Month of Majors – gain exposure to the variety of majors available at Northern, as well as the career opportunities within them. Take advantage of knowledgeable faculty and staff within departments to figure out the career path that interests you. 
Entry-level course  enroll in an entry-level course in a field of interest to see if you enjoy the academic content. Example: If you're interested in criminal justice, take CJ110 - Introduction to Criminal Justice.