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The Open (Undeclared) Major

Any undergraduate student at The University of Iowa may declare the Open Major.  In fact, 33% of all incoming First-Year students enter the University as an Open Major.  Students choosing the Open Major fall into many categories, among them:

·         Students who know they want to earn a four-year degree at the University but are unsure in what area of study


·         Students who have a particular career in mind but are unsure of which major to chose in order to work toward their vocational goal.


·         Students who intend to pursue admission to a competitive entry major and are completing prerequisite coursework.


No matter what kind of Open Major you are, there are some important things to know about the Open Major:


The Open Major is not a degree granting major.


This means that you will have to declare another major, and complete the requirements for that   major, in order to earn a degree from the University.


A student must declare a major or be admitted to a selective or limited access major or program by the time 72 semester hours have been earned.


Students are encouraged to work closely with their Academic Advisor so that the student may gain a better understanding of his or her unique academic goals and requirements.


Students may change their major at any time and as often as they would like. 


It is important to note that while many majors at the University of Iowa have major coursework requirements that may be completed in four semesters, some majors have course sequences that require a full eight semesters of coursework.  It is important for students to discuss their academic interests with their advisor early and often, especially if a student’s goal is a four-year graduation.


All Open Majors at The University of Iowa are assigned an advisor at the Academic Advising Center.

Whatever your academic goals, your academic advisor is there to help you.  We encourage you to make regular appointments with your academic advisor who will:


·         Work with you to identify academic and vocational areas of interest

·         Assist you in course selection to explore academic disciplines

·         Introduce you to resources available on campus that will further assist you in your search

·         Listen to you


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