Second-Choice Major FAQ


Yes, we strongly recommend it, especially if you're applying into one of our more competitive programs such as Engineering or Business. If you're not admissible to your first choice, you'll be reviewed for your second choice. If you're not admissible to either one, you'll be considered for all other avenues of admission. If you're admitted into your second choice or another program, you're considered wait listed for your first choice. This means that if space later opens up, we'll consider you again.

If you don't select a second choice, you'll only be considered for your first choice. This option is only appropriate if you're certain you won't attend Illinois unless you're admitted to your first choice. If you don't select a second choice and you're not competitive for your first choice, you'll be wait listed or denied. You won't be considered for any other avenue of admission.

No, your application will receive a thorough review for your first-choice major. If you're not competitive within that pool, you'll then be reviewed for your second-choice major and all other avenues of admission.

No, not all majors are available due to space constraints. Freshman majors unavailable as a second choice include Bioengineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, First-Year Engineering: Undeclared, Mechanical Engineering, and all Music majors except Music BA, which doesn't require an audition. Transfer majors unavailable as a second choice include all Business majors, all Music majors except Music BA, Aerospace Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Mechanical Engineering.

Most likely, you'll want to select a second choice that's similar to your first-choice major based on your interests. We suggest keeping an open mind in selecting a second choice and encourage you to research our majors by interest area. You may find majors in other colleges on campus that fit your interests. If you're unsure of selecting a specific major, you can also choose our Undeclared program in the Division of General Studies (DGS) as your second choice.

If there's a major you're considering, you should list it as your second choice. If you're exploring, there's no need to list a second-choice major.

No. If you're eligible, you'll only be admitted into one of the majors. If you want to declare a double major, you'll need to discuss that with your academic advisor once on campus.

Yes, we want to know why you are interested in your second-choice major as well. No additional essay is required if you list Undeclared in DGS as your second choice.

We recommend you craft separate essays. When evaluating your essays, we're looking for the reason you're interested in the major you selected, whether it's your first choice or your second choice. If you feel that your second choice corresponds with your first choice, it's possible to reuse portions of your first-choice essay. However, we still want to see a true interest and understanding of your second-choice major through your essay.

Yes, you can perform either task through the Program Change Form, which can be found on your status page in myIllini. Once decisions are released, it's no longer possible to add a second-choice major or change an existing one.

Preference will be given to those applicants who listed the major as their first choice, but you'll be given equal consideration with all other applicants who chose the major as a second choice.