"What’s your major?" has to be the classic question directed at all college students (at least until people start asking "when are you going to finish?"). But as you’ve probably noticed, it is a question that carries a lot of baggage. Besides feeling like a choice that will determine what career you’ll have after you graduate, choosing a major is often associated with conflict and uncertainty because:
- You might want to be in a major that you don’t yet have the prerequisites for;
- You might want to be in a major that’s different from what your aunt (or grandma, or cousin, or father, or partner) thinks you should do; or
- You might feel that you don’t have a clue.
All of this means that for most of you reading this page, the fact that you don’t yet have a major (making you undecided or undeclared) may not seem like a good thing. However, we hope you’ll begin to think about it otherwise and see your time as a UCOL major as one in which you can explore various options open to you. Please read further below for more details on why you are a UCOL major and what that means for you, or click on the links to the left links for more information about Advising for, Student Services for, or Frequently Asked Questions by UCOL majors.
What is the UCOL Major and what does it mean?
You are in University College as a UCOL major because every student on the campus has to belong somewhere for administrative purposes. Our goal in University College is to provide you with an academic and advising home at UNC Charlotte until you’re ready to declare a major and by home, we mean a setting in which you can get the advice and support, you need to be able to make that decision and make it a success.
Describing University College as the place they put you if you don’t belong anywhere else, however, makes being a UCOL major sound like a bit of a problem. We’d encourage you to see it otherwise, for being in this exploratory phase is precisely what coming to college should be about. One of the big differences between high school and college is that there are a lot more options from which to choose. Given this range of choices, it makes sense to take stock and get a feel for what works for you before jumping in. It’s worth noting that between a third and a quarter of all new students at UNC Charlotte are in UCOL. Perhaps more importantly, the average student will change majors twice during their time at UNC Charlotte, so the chances are pretty good that the person across the hall who knows what his or her major is now will be in a different major before the year's out.
Being in the exploratory major, however, doesn't mean you should just wait for lightening to strike. You need to be thinking about your choices and options. In particular you should:
- Meet regularly with your advisor in the University Advising Center to discuss your interests, courses, and academic performance; until you know what your major is, it is important to make sure that you take the courses and get the grades that you might need to get into the majors that interest you.
- Take advantage of events like the WCIDWAMI (What Can I Do with a Major In...?) fair. or the services of the University Career Center to get advice on choosing a major and/or career.
- Experiment with courses and opportunities like internships in order to better understand what your choice of major will mean in terms of academic work and career opportunities.