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Advising for Undeclared Students


The primary purpose of the Office of Academic Advising for Undeclared Students is to assist students who are undecided about a major in the development of meaningful educational plans that are compatible with the students' life goals.

Academic advisors provide assistance with:

  • General course selection
  • Explanation of degrees and degree requirements
  • Development of a program of study
  • Selection of an academic major
  • Academic concerns and issues
  • Referral to other ESU resources and services
  • Unofficial progress check toward graduation

Academic advisors for the undeclared student apply knowledge of teaching, advising, learning, and human development to encourage educational experiences that lead to intellectual and personal growth.

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Advantages of the Undeclared Major

  • Students may take the time they need to clarify life and career goals.
  • Students can develop a suitable educational plan.
  • Students receive assistance with the selection of appropriate courses.
  • Students receive help with interpreting institutional requirements.
  • Students receive help with major exploration.
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Declaring a Major

  • Use your freshman year and the general education curriculum to explore academic options, and to gain knowledge and perspectives that enable you to experience varied modes of thought and develop specific competencies.
  • Meet with an Undeclared Advisor to discuss your interests, values, abilities, and skills.
  • Attend “Declare a Major Day” in February—your “one stop shop” to learn about all the majors on campus, and speak with faculty members of the departments face-to-face.
  • Evaluate all your experiences and prioritize your top choices. Meet with your advisor to develop a plan to move forward in declaring your major!

Exploratory Plan and Checklist

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General Education Requirements

Why do most Universities require General Education courses?

General Education courses are important in creating well-rounded students.

  • By design general education courses provide students with knowledge and perspectives from different fields of study, and enable them to adopt varied modes of thought and develop specific competencies.
  • They provide students the opportunity to discover their academic interests, and meet the demands of an increasingly interdisciplinary world.
  • They help students develop basic skills like problem solving, creative thinking and the ability to work effectively with others and to see things from different perspectives.
  • They help prepare students for the 21st century work place--Employers are hiring and promoting people who have more than just knowledge in a discipline; they are looking for people who can do things like write and speak clearly, solve problems, work well in diverse teams, and make ethical decisions.

Review General Education Requirements

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How to Prepare for an Advising Appointment

General Advising/Major Exploration:

  • Before your appointment, think about your interests, values, skills, and abilities.
  • Review the list of majors on the ESU website and indicate which majors interest you and/or which majors you would like more information about.
  • Think of some questions would you like to ask your advisor about the majors of interest.
  • Be prepared to discuss your academic progress, and let your advisor know if you’re struggling with anything (i.e. time management, study habits, procrastination, etc.)

Advising Appointment for Registration

  • Review the University Degree Requirements
  • Review the advising and registration tutorial on the Undeclared Advising website.
  • Look up your majors of interest on the ESU website, and review the requirements for the major including the co-requisite courses.
  • Login to Degree Works to assess your academic status and review what you need to complete in order to graduate.
  • Complete a Gen Ed worksheet.
  • Browse classes of interest by using the “look up classes” function on your portal. Be sure to select the correct semester for which you’re registering. Think about taking classes in areas that spark your interest and meet your academic goals. Then complete the schedule worksheet.
  • Bring your completed general education worksheet and your schedule worksheet to your advising session.
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Helpful Online Resources & Advising Worksheets

As an advisee, you have clear responsibilities in the advising partnership. In order to be successful, you should:

What Can I do With This Major: This site will help you connect majors to careers. Learn about the typical career areas and the types of employers that hire people with each major, as well as strategies to make you a more marketable candidate. http://whatcanidowiththismajor.com/major/

FOCUS2: A self- paced career guidance tool designed to help you select the right major, clarify your career goals and provide you with valuable occupation information. Take a variety of assessments (work interest, skills, personality, values) and discuss your results with your advisor. When creating an account, use “Burgy” as your access code.

Occupational Outlook Handbook: Maintained by the US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. A premiere source of career guidance information. Provides profiles of hundreds of occupations.

Big Future (by the College Board): Get to know yourself and discover your future. Gain knowledge about college academic life and how to prepare. Explore majors and careers.

ESyoU Parents This online resource provides useful information about how parents can help their undeclared student select a major and a career.

Eight Semester Academic Planning Worksheet

Schedule Worksheet: Complete this form and bring with you to your advising meeting for registration.

Weekly Planning Calendar: Keep yourself organized and manage your time wisely.

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80% Of students who enter college are uncertain about a major 50% Change their major at least once before graduation 564 ESU students are undeclared and receiving advising