Advising for Students Deciding on a Major
Undeclared and Exploring Students
Not sure of your major? You are not alone! You are part of the 75 percent of college students who either start their college career as undecided or change their major at least once. It's all part of the process of exploring your options.
RWU students who start as exploring can still graduate in four years! In fact, they graduate in four years at the same rate as the rest of the student body. You are not required to declare a major until the end of your third semester, so the key is to use your first few semesters wisely! Roger has lots of resources available to help you evaluate your options and make an informed decision you can feel confident about.
How can The Center for Student Academic Success help me with academic advising?
Professional academic advisors in the Advising Office in the Center for Student Academic Success provide holistic developmental advising to all deciding students as well as any student who may be thinking about changing a major. These advisors can support students in exploring their interests, identifying their skills and strengths and making a list of areas of study to explore. Advisors are familiar with RWU's wide array of programs and can refer students to the appropriate faculty in those areas for more detailed conversations about the major. These professional advisors work with their faculty colleagues to support students in this important decision making.
During the first year, Deciding Students meet with an academic advisor in the Advising Office as well as a faculty academic advisor who has been assigned. Together these advisors help students identify the courses they should be taking in their first year as part of the Core Curriculum and identify areas of interest to select additional courses. Students who are exploring majors are often referred to the Center for Career and Professional Development to meet with a career advisor. These advisors can provide information on careers, offer interest and career assessments that might provide direction, and guide students in becoming career ready. Lastly, students are also assigned a Peer Mentor to help them make a successful transition to RWU and provide a peer with whom they can discuss ideas and concerns. Peer Mentors are trained on important transition issues, RWU policies and procedures and how to make referrals to campus resources.
This collaborative advising process assists students in selecting courses and other academic opportunities that will help them explore possible majors and begin the process to decide on a course of study. Students are encouraged to make a decision about a program of study and declare a major by the end of their sophomore year. This allows students plenty of time to think about what they would like to do in the future and make an academic plan that supports their goals.
Why do Deciding Student Have Two Advisors?
We believe is is important for students who are exploring majors to have as much support as possible. Every RWU student is assigned a Faculty Academic Advisor who works with them on creating an academic plan and selecting courses. All students are required to meet with their assigned Faculty Academic Advisor every semester before registering for classes to discuss their plans and get advice on course selection, sequencing and major requirements. Deciding students are provided the additional support of an Academic Advisor from the Advising Office to assist them with major and career exploration and to guide them through utilizing all of the campus resources that can assist them
Changing Majors, Minors/Core Concentration, Interdisciplinary Individualized Major
For students who are changing majors, adding a minor/core concentration, or want to investigate an Interdisciplinary Individualized Major, the need for professional academic advising support is critical. Make an appointment with an advisor to discuss your options.
We welcome you to work through the resources below and share the results of the assessments with a professional advisor in the Advising and Peer Mentorship Office who will help you make sense of what you are learning about yourself and your options.
- Jung Typology Test – This free personality test is based on the work of Carl Jung and Isabel Briggs-Meyers, this test provides a typological approach to personality. Completion will provide you a description of your personality type which you can use to explore majors and careers. Once complete, send the results (4 letters, ex. INFJ) to a professional advisor in the Advising and Peer Mentorship Office. The advisor will put a packet together for you, which you will review together.
- O*NET Online - Tool for career exploration and job analysis. O*NET OnLine has detailed descriptions of the world of work for use by job seekers, workforce development and HR professionals, students, researchers, and more.
- Interest Profiler (part of O*NET) - can help you to identify your interests and how those interests relate to the world of work.
- What is Your Leaning Style? – Discover your learning style and find out how it influences the way you understand information and solve problems.
ANSOC 100: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
ANSOC 105: Introduction to Sociology
AAH 121: History of Art and Architecture I
ARCH 101: Foundations of Architecture & ARCH 101R: Recitation/Discussion
ASIA 100: Foundation of Asian Studies (meets CORE 104 requirement)
BIO 103 & Lab: Biology 1 and Lab
BIO 179: Molecular Genetics and Longevity (1 credit, no prerequisite, elective)
CHN 260: Eating in East Asia (meets CORE 104 requirement)
COMM 100: Introduction to Communication Studies (Survey Course)
COMM 101: Introduction to Media
COMSC 110: Introduction to Computer Science
CULST 100: Approaches to the Study of American Society and Culture (meets CORE 102 requirement)
CW 110: Form in Poetry
CW 120: Narrative in Prose the Short Story
CJS 105: Introduction to Criminal Justice
DANCE 200: Elem Cont/Mod Tech I (recommended prior to DANCE 101)
DANCE 101: The Creative Athlete
DSGN 100: Introduction to Design Communication
EDU 200: Foundations of Education
ENG 105: Bible as Literature (meets CORE 104 requirement)
ENG 110: Serpents, Swords and Symbols
ENVS 103: Earth Systems and lab
ENVS 104: Principles of Oceanography and lab
FILM 101: Introduction to Film Studies
FS 100: Introduction to Food Studies (meets CORE 103 requirement)
FS 101: Introduction to Food Science with lab (meets CORE 101 requirement)
FS 299: Eating in East Asia (meets CORE 104 requirement, prerequisite waived)
FREN 101: Elementary French I
HIST 100: Making Global History
ITAL 101: Elementary Italian I
GER 101: Elementary German I
GSS 100: Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies
LALS 100: Introduction to Latin America & Latino Study (meets CORE 102 requirement)
LAT 101: Elementary Latin I
LS 101: The American Legal System
MS 101: Introduction to ROTC and the U.S. Army I
MUSIC 110: Basic Musicianship
MUSIC 161: Art of Rock and Roll
MUSIC 310: Music in the USA (meets CORE 105 requirement)
MUSIC 361: Jazz Styles and History (meets CORE 105 requirement)
PHYS 179 & PHYS 176L: SpTp: Electronics for Everyone
PHYS 179 & PHYS 176L: SpTp: Radioactive: Nuclear Power (meets CORE 101 requirement)
PHYS 240 & PHYS 240L: Introductory Astronomy with Lab (meets CORE 101 requirement)
PLS 100: Introduction to Law and Legal Studies
PH 103: Health in Diverse Populations (meets CORE 103 requirement)
PHIL 100: Introduction to Philosophy: The Art of Inquiry
POLSC 100: American Government and Politics
POLSC 120: Comparative Politics
PRES 101: Introduction to Preservation Studies
PSYCH 100: Introduction to Psychology
SPN 101: Elementary Spanish
SUST 101: Introduction to Sustainability Studies
THEAT 110: Acting I
THEAT 130: Art of the Theater (meets CORE 105 requirement)
THEAT 140/141: Musical Theatre Workshop
URBN 100: Introduction to Urban Studies
VARTS 101: Foundations of Drawing
Student A is a new student interested in Psychology and Business.
- CORE Roger Seminar (101, 102, 103, 104, or 105)
- Writing 102
- Psychology 100
- Business 100
- CORE class (101, 102, 103, 104, or 105) or Math 124 (fulfills Math requirement for Business, Psychology, and general education)
Student B is a new student interested in Biology and Computer Science.
- CORE Roger Seminar (101, 102, 103, 104, or 105)
- Writing 102
- Biology 103
- Computer Science 110
- Math class (which Math class will depend on placement)
Student C is a new student interested in Criminal Justice and Cybersecurity and Networking.
- CORE Roger Seminar (101, 102, 103, 104, or 105)
- Writing 102
- SEC 100 - Intro to Personal Computer
- Criminal Justice 105
- COMM 210 - Public Speaking or CORE class (101, 102, 103, 104, or 105)
**These are only sample schedules. Classes can vary depending on a variety of factors. Always consult with an advisor for personalized guidance on class selection.
Are you ready to declare a major, minor, or core concentration? The advisors in the Advising and Peer Mentorship Office can help you review the steps necessary to make it official.
Advisors are also on hand to review your academic plan so you can make an informed decision about your academic journey. We will review the curriculum, connect you with faculty in your prospective major, and check your progress in Roger Central.
Are you a student interested in Business, Engineering, Construction Management, Architecture, or a major in one of our professional schools? Then speak with an advisor about prerequisites and other program specific information that will help you determine your next steps.
Major Ambassador Program
Major Ambassadors (MA) are student leaders selected to represent their academic program and are available to their peers who want to learn more about various programs. MAs are recognized by their faculty/Dean for being knowledgeable about program offerings, are leaders who represent their school well, and are interested in helping other students.
Organized by the Advising and Peer Mentorship Office and the Center for Career and Professional Development, information sessions will run once a month for any student who is interested in learning more about a particular major.
Wednesday, September 29th from 4:00-5:00PM at the Mary Tefft White Center
Majors represented at September Information Session:
• Elementary Education B.A. • Journalism, B.A. • Graphic Design Communication, B.A.• History, B.A.• Chemistry, B.S.• Political Science, B.A.• Economics, Liberal Arts Track, B.A.• Computer Science, Human Centered Computing Specialization, B.S.• Forensic Science, B.S.• Legal Studies, B.S.• Communication & Media Studies, B.A.• Environmental Science, B.S.• Economics, Business Track, B.S.• Anthropology + Sociology, B.A.
October 2021 : TBD
Want to be a Major Ambassador? Contact Valerie Wolstenholme for more information.
Am I behind if I begin my college journey undeclared?
Not at all. The Undeclared student cohort is the largest population of our entering 21/FA first-year students. On average nationally, 75% of students charge their major during their college years. Many students are unsure of their career path and for those students, being undeclared is the right choice so they have an opportunity to explore.
How do I change my major?
Students are free to change their major whenever they want. We strongly encourage students to consult with their Faculty Academic Advisor before making a decision. Students are also welcome to speak to a professional advisor in CSAS’s Advising Office should they require further consultation. Students should be aware that some programs have requirements that need to be met before they are approved to change their major. See Ready to Declare tab for more information.
I have no idea what I want to major in… where do I start?
As an Undeclared student, you are assigned to a faculty advisor who specializes in working with exploratory students, in addition to meeting with a Professional Advisor in the Advising & Peer Mentorship Office. Set up an appointment with an advisor to help begin the exploratory conversation about your interests, goals, and passions!
Can I still graduate in 4 years?
Yes! Most students who begin as undeclared graduate at the same rate as those in declared majors. Think of your graduation requirements in thirds - 1/3 major requirements, 1/3 general education requirements (the core curriculum), and 1/3 other. The last third can be used to explore your options, add a minor (or two!), or the addition of a second major.
What courses should I take as an Undeclared student?
Undeclared students should take a mix of required Core classes (general education requirements), and introductory classes based on the student's interests and passions. See tab Sample of Undeclared Student Schedule.
RWU has many majors I like, but I would really like to customize a major… how do I do this?
Students who are interested in creating their own major should speak to a Faculty Academic Advisor and a professional advisor in the Advising Office who can guide them through the process.
What if I wish to change my career after I graduate from RWU?
Most people change their career paths several times throughout their lives and students should feel confident that the combination of their experiences at RWU will prepare them well for those changes in their career path.