By Matthew Rainwater

DeKALB | Students waiting to choose a major until their senior year might be putting themselves in a troublesome situation, according to the NIU Academic Advising Center.

“A student that waits to finally choose a major is delaying graduation, no doubt,” said Michael Broshears, director of the Academic Advising Center. “The academic center and each college’s advising centers offers plenty of support for students and these services are plentiful.”

These undecided students don’t make up a huge chunk of the student population, Broshears said, but the number changes each semester, ranging between five to 15 percent.

According to the NIU Data Book, there were 976 undecided students in 2005, down from the 1,734 undecided students the previous year.

The majority of these students with undecided majors were first-year students, still figuring out what to take for the next semester, said Broshears.

“This does, of course, happen and it can be very traumatic for a student still deciding,” Broshears said.

The best choice for students who are still undecided is to take a look at what they have, he said. Broshears advises students to look at their abilities, interests and skills. Tapping into these will give students a better idea of what they want to get into once they are finished with college, he said.

There are three different types of undecided students, Broshears said: Students who have yet to make a decision, students that self-select majors and students seeking alternative majors.

“Students who are seeking an alternative major are [often] the type of undecided students that have been kicked out of a college,” Broshears said. “For example, a business student might have been kicked out for having a poor GPA in that program. They then decide to choose art as a major.”

NIU’s Undergraduate Catalog recommends a student with about 60 credit hours to declare a major. Otherwise, those still undecided should contact the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to get appropriate advising.