FAQs for Incoming Undeclared Students

For the 2010-2011 academic year, San José State University will have an unprecedented number of Undeclared students. If you are one of these Undeclared students, you probably have a number of questions related to securing your major of choice. The FAQs below should help you answer some of these questions.

  1. What is an impacted major?
  2. Which students are considered “assigned Undeclared”?
  3. Which classes should I take?
  4. What are the chances that I will be admitted into the major?
  5. How can I apply to change my major?
  6. Do Fall 2010 transfer students who wish to apply for non-impacted majors need to wait until the beginning of the Fall semester to apply for a change of major?
  7. Should I go to another school, since I may not get my intended major here?
  8. How many assigned Undeclared students do we expect to actually come to SJSU?

1. What is an impacted major?

An impacted major is a major that does not have space for everyone requesting it. Therefore, those seeking admission to impacted majors must meet eligibility requirements above and beyond the basic requirements needed to be admitted into the university. To learn about the eligibility requirements for impacted majors, contact the major department.

2. Which students are considered “assigned Undeclared”?

The “assigned Undeclared” students are those who were admitted to SJSU requesting impacted majors that were unable to accommodate them. Therefore, these students are assigned to the Undeclared major. To switch to an impacted major, students will need to apply for and be admitted by the intended major department. Eligibility requirements vary, so students should seek admissions information from the department.

3. Which classes should I take?

During the Transfer Orientation sessions, you will be advised to focus on any lower division general education courses you may have missed, courses to count for a minor, and preparation courses for your preferred major. Some majors are requiring students to pass particular courses at SJSU to make them eligible to be considered for the major; consider taking these classes. Check with the major department for rules and strategies for applying to your major of choice.

Additionally, you are strongly encouraged to take and pass the WST to make yourself eligible for SJSU Studies courses. Make sure you leave the Transfer Orientation session with 6-8 possible classes for their fall enrollment.

Furthermore, after Transfer Orientation, you should have received a message via MySJSU which included the Transfer Orientation General Education PowerPoint presentation, as well as a list of suggestions for Fall 2010 registration.

4. What are the chances that I will be admitted into the major?

A student may not graduate as Undeclared; all students will graduate with a major. However, not all students will get their first choice of major. Some may not be admitted because of limited space available in the department, and others may not be admitted because of their grades, because they lack other preparation, or because other applicants were more competitive. To better understand desired your major's admissions guidelines, contact the department for information. Whatever the reason, many students will need to be flexible in their academic plans. Please keep in mind that “If a student chooses to declare a major that is impacted, the student must apply to the impacted major no later than November 1st in order to register for Spring semester and April 1 for fall term.” Additionally, “Students who apply to declare a major and are not accepted by that major may only apply twice to that major and only if the units they take between the first and second application do not exceed 12 units.” (Presidential Directive 2009-05, http://www.sjsu.edu/advising/presidential_directive/html/g3/)

5. How can I apply to change my major?

First, you must meet your major's eligibility requirements. If the major department makes the decision to accept you to the major, you will need to complete and submit a Change of Major or Minor form available at www.sjsu.edu/registrar/forms. Please make sure you secure all of the required signatures; the Change of Major or Minor form will not be accepted for new Fall 2010 admits until August 25, 2010.

6. Do Fall 2010 transfer students who wish to apply for non-impacted majors need to wait until the beginning of the Fall semester to apply for a change of major?

Yes. Students wishing to apply for majors that are not impacted will also need to wait until the Fall semester begins to submit the Change of Major form.

7. Should I go to another school, since I may not get my intended major here?

Not necessarily. Work with your intended major department to better understand what you need to do to be admitted into the major. If you are not able to get into your preferred major, consider some other options:

  • Explore other majors and different paths to your intended career. You can enter many careers without completing the obvious major. For example, you can enter a business profession without majoring in business. Similarly, you can become a Probation Officer without majoring in Justice Studies. Talk to the department and to the Career Center ( http://careercenter.sjsu.edu/) for more information.
  • Consider a minor. A minor can provide you with new areas of knowledge, and enhance your marketability in the job force.
  • Reconsider your career choice. Sometimes, students are unable to secure a space in their preferred major because they have difficulty with the required courses. If you are putting in your best efforts and cannot pass the courses, then there may be a chance that your intended major and subsequent career choice may not be a good fit for your interests and strengths.

8. How many assigned Undeclared students do we expect to actually come to SJSU?

The first Transfer Orientation took place on April 16 th, and of 595 students who attended, about a third of them were assigned Undeclared. In total, we expect about 1300 new Undeclared transfer students.