Ready to Explore? Start Here!

If you don't know what you want to major in yet, that's okay. We're here to provide paths for exploration and tools to narrow down your options.

Paths to Explore at UIUC

Spoiler alert: You don't have to choose a major before attending UIUC! If you're uncertain what you want to major in when it's time to apply, you can choose our undeclared option in the Division of General Studies (DGS). In DGS, you'll have the chance to explore a variety of majors on campus while staying on track for graduation.

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How to Choose a Major at UIUC

Ready to start exploring potential majors now? Follow the steps below to discover which UIUC majors might match up best with your personality and interests!

1. Discover your Holland type.

There are six personality types according to John Holland's theory: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. Take the O*NET Interest Profiler to discover your type.

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Onet Profiler

2. Find your UIUC interest path.

Once you know your Holland Type, you can use it to discover the UIUC interest path or paths that relate to you! Check out your path's corresponding list of majors to explore potential options.

Majors in this category seek to understand the historical backgrounds and contemporary events of cultures and societal structures. Students who study in these areas like to expand their perspectives and stay up to date on current issues and policies. Majors in this area develop students' written and verbal communication skills, whether in English or another language, and involve reading, writing, editing, research, analysis, speaking, debate, and persuasion.

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Students with interests in statistical analysis, algorithms, and determining how data can impact daily life should consider these majors. These majors require highly developed critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills. Students in these majors should like working with numbers, dealing with large, complex data sets, examining trends, and spending significant amounts of time working at a computer.

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Majors within this pathway celebrate creativity/artistic expression. Interested students should be passionate about cultivating their artistic talents. This pathway involves intensive hands-on work and encourages collaboration with fellow artists and drawing inspiration from various sources. Majors in this area encompass a range of artistic disciplines, including fine arts, graphic design, illustration, photography, and multimedia arts. Students pursuing this pathway develop a keen eye for aesthetics, a mastery of artistic techniques, and an understanding of the cultural and historical contexts that influence creative expression.

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These disciplines study challenges such as global warming, climate and climate change, pollution, water conservation, and other issues that encompass all aspects of planetary and earth sciences. Students interested in nature can expect to study topics that discuss the earth's wide variety of animals and plants and its endangered species along with human responsibility to the world's natural resources.

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Students who pursue this pathway want to connect with and assist others. They desire a career where they will nurture the growth of or address the problems of a person's physical, psychological, intellectual, emotional, or spiritual well-being through medicine, nursing, psychotherapy, psychological counseling, social work, education, life coaching, or ministry.

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Majors in this category study the global and domestic markets as well as consumer trends in agriculture, technology, health, education, policy, and social and economic capital. These majors attract students who are leaders and entrepreneurs driven by innovative solutions and achieving goals. They also value teamwork, problem-solving, managing, numbers/data, and interpersonal transactions.

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Majors in this area concentrate on exploration and discovery using knowledge of physical and life sciences. Students who are strong in foundational math and science courses, have a curiosity about the world around them, and seek to use research to advance society may want to explore majors in this category. These students typically have an interest in research, working in a lab, and wanting to learn "how stuff works." They are curious about nature, biology, machines, physical laws, etc., and like problem-solving and/or puzzles.

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This pathway is for individuals who possess a unique blend of creativity and technical proficiency. Majors in this pathway encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration by leveraging design principles and technology to create innovative solutions. Students in these majors enjoy thinking outside the box and using technology alongside creative thinking for technological advancement. These majors provide a comprehensive approach for interested students, fostering a dynamic skill set for the ever-evolving landscape of technology, design, and innovation.

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Our undeclared options allow students to explore different majors while staying on track for graduation. They are for students who are interested in exploring their options further before declaring a major. They may also benefit students who have professional goals but are unsure which major will best help them achieve those goals.

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3. Compare majors.

Once you find a few majors that seem interesting, you can compare them side by side and see if any stand out based on cost, average starting salary, or a typical student's academic profile.

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happy new Information Systems student at a signing day celebration with Gies College of Business

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