Rachael Scharen

Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. Higher Education


Educational Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Sisco, Burton


College majors


Higher Education


The purpose of this study was to gain insight into the rationale of college major selection for undeclared students. The study focused on determining if undeclared students were influenced by outside resources and factors to aid in their decision to declare a particular major. Approximately 300 freshmen undecided students and five sophomore undecided students at Rowan University in January through March of 2010 participated in this study. Data on the influences and factors were collected through a survey using 31 Likert scale items and four open ended questions as well as using interviews and asking a series of questions about the major(s) of interest, why they are of interest, and how the selection process was for the participant. Demographics of the data suggest that the majority of subjects were male (60.2%) freshmen (93.4%) students. Data analysis suggests that the majority of selected students felt that having a personal interest in the program, personal skills in their area of study, and having preparation for desired career were the top reasons for choosing an academic major. Data analysis suggest that the majority of selected students felt that resources within the institution, family member encouragement, and knowing someone in the related field were the top influences for choosing an academic major.