Is Your Student Undecided?

It's okay not to know.
January 29, 2020

Deciding on a college major can be challenging. Your student may not know what career direction they want to take or which interest they’d like to study. You may even find yourself wondering, what does my child want to major in?

If your student is coming to you with their thoughts about being undecided, ask them about the career exploration they did in high school. Start there, and let your student guide the conversation. It’s their future, and it always helps to talk through things out loud. Encourage your student to talk to people in different career areas, job shadow a friend or relative, and contact program directors at UW-Stout to find out more about majors they are considering. Your student can still do this once they're enrolled, too. 

It’s okay not to know. Many students come to UW-Stout undecided.

Advisor Jamie Arenz works with a student at the Advisement Center Tuesday, December 12, 2017.

And many students are not truly undecided, but are undeclared and waiting to be accepted into their major. The Advisement Center is here to help your student navigate their resources to help them take the next step in their college career: choosing a major.


On-Campus Resources for Undeclared Students

  • Pre-Admit Advisor: Tina Lee is UW-Stout's pre-admit advisor for undecided students. She is a resource for academic advising, career development, and student transition. If you or your student has questions about being undecided, email Tina at or using the online Undecided request information form.
  • First-Year Advisors: Every incoming freshman is assigned a first-year advisor they can talk to about what majors they are considering. Through a series of questions, often a career area can be determined, though not always a specific major. Conversations about values, goals, and majors are an ongoing process with all first-year students, whether declared or undeclared.
  • Career Assessments: Sometimes doing career assessments in the Advisement Center and then reviewing the results with a First-Year Advisor can help students find their fit. Career assessments are free.
  • Career Exploration Workshops: Workshops are offered to all students to give them the tools to explore several majors of interest to them. Your students can register through the Advisement Center.
  • Meetings with Program Directors: First-Year Advisors encourage students to visit with program directors in any program they are interested in. First-Year Advisors provide sample questions to the students, so they are more prepared for the meeting. Program directors are listed on the major’s page on the UW-Stout website.

Campus Events


Photo of student being interviewed at Spring Career Fair.
  • First-Year Registration & Orientation (summer): First-Year Advisors present information to all undeclared students and their parents about campus resources they can use during the summer to choose a major. Then, advisors meet with students to talk about possible classes they can take depending on their interests.
  • Week One (fall): In the afternoon, while students with declared majors meet with their program directors, the Advisement Center presents information to undeclared students regarding resources to help them decide on a major. This includes information on several Career Exploration workshops and how to schedule individual meetings with their advisors.
  • Seminar in Career Exploration (every semester): First-Year Advisors teach this 1-credit course to assist students in exploring their values and academic goals. Students can register for this at orientation or during class registration in the fall.
  • Major Fair (fall): Undecided students are encouraged to attend the Major Fair to learn about all the majors at Stout. The Advisement Center has a booth and is available to answer questions!
  • Job Shadowing Program (January): Career Services offers a job shadowing program to all students. The Advisement Center recommends it to all first-year students as a way to explore their career options.