FAQs for undecided students
- What is a major?
- Can I graduate without a major?
- What majors are offered at UHM?
- What are the major requirements?
- Can I declare a major now?
- When must I make a decision about my major?
- Can I gradate in four years if I declare my major by junior year?
- How can I change my major?
- I don’t know which major to choose. Am I the only one?
- Do I need to choose a minor?
- What kind of courses should I take while I am undecided?
- Where should I go to receive advising?
- What services does Manoa Advising Center provide for undecided students?
A major is the field of concentration or 'specialization' of your undergraduate degree.
No. Major requirements are part of your degree requirements. To graduate from UHM, you must choose a major and fulfill its requirements.
UHM offers over 80 undergraduate majors. You can view the entire major listing in the university catalog. Look under 'undergraduate/degree' column as some majors are available only at graduate levels.
Major requirements vary from major to major. Go to specific major sections in the catalog to learn more about their requirements. Note that some colleges and schools, within which major departments are housed, have additional requirements you need to fulfill beyond major requirements.
Some majors can be declared anytime, while others cannot because they have admission requirements (e.g., minimum GPA, total credits, specific pre-major courses, test scores). To declare a major without admission requirements, meet with an undergraduate advisor of your intended major and follow the instructions. To declare a major that has admission requirements, you need to meet those requirements first, apply to the major, and officially get accepted by the program. Meet with an advisor at Mānoa Advising Center to go over the admission requirements of your intended majors and develop an academic plan up to the point that you enter the major program. (Also see Pre-Major.
Beginning Fall 2008, incoming freshmen are required to declare a major by the time they reach junior standing, or 55 credits.
This answer varies depending on the major and student. If you are interested in highly structured and sequential majors (e.g., math, science, engineering, architecture, foreign language, music, art), it is most beneficial to decide sooner rather than later. These majors tend to have a lot of prerequisites or foundation courses that must be completed during freshman and sophomore years. In addition, majors offered under the specialized degrees (e.g., Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music) tend to require more credits than those offered under the Bachelor of Arts degree. Therefore, an early start is key to completing all of the requirements in a timely manner.
If you have already declared a major and want to undeclare it, or if you want to switch between undecided and pre-majors, come to MAC (QLC 101) to fill out the major change forms. If you want to switch to a major that has admission requirements, you may not be able to declare until you meet the admission requirements and are officially admitted into the program. If you are switching to a major that has no admission requirements, meet with the undergraduate advisor of your intended major and follow the instructions to proceed to declare. Whichever the case, the best advice for you is to meet with your academic advisor to discuss your change.
Various survey results show that 75% of college students change their majors at least once before graduation. So, if you are not sure what to major in, you are not alone. Being undecided gives you a valuable opportunity to explore majors that you have never heard of, clarify your interests, strengths and goals, and make informed decisions. Take a broad range of courses until you narrow down your major options. Meet with your academic advisor regularly who will assist you in checking your progress and making informed decisions on your major. The 5 steps to declaring your major.
A minor is optional. Also, not all fields have minor options. Whether you want to choose a minor or not depends on your interests and goals. If you are interested, discuss minor options with your academic advisor. A list of minors/certificates offered at UHM is available in the catalog.
Take advantage of Mānoa’s flexible and diverse general education requirements to explore various fields. You can take some introductory courses in a major you might pursue. Or take any courses that look interesting or you have never heard before. If you like the course(s), take some more in the same subject. Advisors at Mānoa Advising Center can help you choose exploratory courses that fit your needs and interests while completing General Education requirements.
The Mānoa Advising Center is your advising home. Meet with your academic advisor regularly to ensure that you are on a right track. Click here to learn how to schedule an appointment.
Mānoa Advising Center is your advising home. We provide advising support for undecided students as they go through exploration and major selection process until they enter / declare their major.