Frequently Asked Questions
What are the advantages of being Undeclared at PC?
There are lots of reasons for being Undeclared. Students may have many interests or may be unsure of how their interests may relate to a major. First year students are often unfamiliar with the PC curriculum and want to explore before declaring. The Undeclared Advising Program provides an opportunity for guided exploration of the curriculum so that students can assess their interests and talents in relationship to a major.
Can I start out Undeclared and still graduate with my class in four years?
Absolutely! Nearly 500 students matriculate at PC every fall as Undeclared students. That is roughly half the entering class. The Undeclared Program provides students the opportunity to explore their interests before they declare their majors. Some students have already narrowed the field to a a short list of potential majors. Others need to learn more about the majors offered at the College. In either case, there is more than enough time to explore your academic options and to complete your degree in the four year program at PC.
What kind of academic advising is available to Undeclared students?
All Undeclared students are assigned academic advisors who will work with them from Summer Orientation until they have selected their majors. Advisors come from all academic departments. They understand the uncertainties of first year students and have the resources available to assist these students make sound academic decisions.
Often a student is assigned an advisor from a department related to the students' interests. For example a student considering a major in the sciences might be assigned a faculty advisor from one of the science departments. However, all the Undeclared Advisors are knowledgeable about every major at the College. They all know what resources are available and where to refer students for specific information or academic assistance.
What courses should I take while I'm Undeclared?
Students should select courses that interest them and that allow them to explore potential majors. They should not try to fulfill their general degree requirements right away, but should select courses that will provide some insight into the area of study that is the focus of majors they are considering.
How are careers related to majors?
Generally, at the undergraduate level, there is not just one specific major required to enter a career field. While some careers require specific academic preparation, most are built on skills that can be developed in virtually any major - the ability to think critically, organize and integrate information, speak and write effectively. The liberal arts curriculum at PC develops these skills in all of its students.
Needless to say, a student who plans on becoming an accountant needs courses in accountancy. A student who plans to become a physician needs to take science courses. But not all physicians were science majors. Potential lawyers don't need to be political science majors. And businesses don't restrict hiring to students in business majors.
Where will I get help selecting a major?
One of the primary goals of every Undeclared Advisor is to help students make informed decisions in the process of selecting a major. The advisor will also be able to refer students to other sources of information such as the Dean's Office, Career Services & Internships, Office of Academic Services, as well as the chairs and faculty members from all the academic departments. Each fall a Major Fair is held to introduce students to all majors and minors at the College. Seminars are scheduled to help students recognize and develop their interests, abilities and aspirations. And of course, the Undeclared Advising Program Office is always available to any student who has questions or concerns about selecting a major.
When do I need to decide about my major at PC? How will I know if it's the right one?
Students are required to declare a major before they begin their junior year. The Undeclared Advising Program tracks the progress of all Undeclared students so that they have selected a major by the middle of the second semester sophomore year. This way, students will have a new advisor assigned by the major department who will assist in academic planning and selection of courses the student will take in the junior and senior years.
Careful selection of exploratory courses will help determine if your interests and talents are well suited to the selected major. But sometimes, if the choice is not a good match, students may change majors after consultation with the departments involved and the Office of the Dean.