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Kansas Wesleyan University

Not ready to declare a major? Unsure of your career goals?

In the spirit of the liberal arts, the Open-Option Program provides the opportunity for students to engage in classes and experience a variety of content areas before declaring a major. Throughout the first two years, students explore courses that not only fulfill Liberal Studies requirements, but also provide introduction and insight into the disciplines that they might be interested in.

Open Option Students Can:

  • Explore the many KWU majors and concentrations, their requirements for completing a degree and what recent graduates are doing
  • Learn more about themselves and their interests through assessment inventories and personality testing
  • Benefit from career development and information about opportunities available to them in the work world
  • All activities in the open-option program are voluntary in nature, but provide students an intentional approach to selecting a major and career path that fits them, one that is based on clear information rather than speculation.

An important feature of the Open-Option Program is that students who have not declared a major are assigned to an open-option advisor, who encourages the student to select courses that will provide some foundational structure as well as explore the nature of the subject matter while meeting requirements for timely graduation.

Students may declare a major at any time during the first two years, based on their readiness and the knowledge gained through experience and research of their interests, abilities and the opportunities available on campus and in the workplace.

Students must declare a major by the beginning of their junior year.

To sign up for Open Option as your initial major, contact the Registrar’s Office in Student Services (K-Dub Hub), Room 285 in the Hall of the Pioneers, or call (785) 833-4320.

About the Open Option Program for Undeclared Students Program

Frequently asked questions

Don’t know what you want to major in? You are not alone! Many high school and early college students are not sure what their future holds. To your benefit, college is just the place to explore some of those possibilities you are considering, and KWU has designed a program to help you do that.

How does it work?

A student can explore courses for a potential major while still meeting university requirements. This allows you to test-drive several majors, and when you are ready to choose, you can hit the ground running with a major and/or minor already begun, and graduate on time.

Trained advisors who value and encourage active exploration of the curriculum work with each student to help them make wise choices. Open-option students go through career development assistance by completing critical tasks and activities during the first two years of college to help figure out to what he/she is best suited.

Who can participate?

Any student who has not yet decided on a major, and is a freshman or sophomore, may participate in the Open Option Program. Nearly every college student explores a variety of academic avenues to make sure they like the track they are pursuing or to find something they believe is better suited to their interests and abilities. More than half of all college students change their majors before graduation.

Since it’s so common for college students to explore, we designed a program where you keep your options open, and where exploring is encouraged and supported. You start broad and narrow the search as you develop your interests, rather than guessing at something specific and then having to change your major or academic field when you discover it wasn’t what you thought it was.

Advisors assist participants as they try various classes and areas of study on for size. It’s a great way to get to sample things without being punished for being unsure of where you will land.

So who participates?

Anyone who’s got a passion for more than one thing and isn’t quite ready to decide, or someone who is unsure of what life’s plan is, who is searching for the best way to find their dreams.

How does it work?


You choose (when ready) We will probably start with creating a short list and then narrow from there a major must be declared by the start of the student’s junior year.


You decide. You don’t need to know now. We’ll give you some guidance and help you discover what some of your options might be, based on your skills and interests.


Students in the Open Option Program get early access for help from Career Services in the Student Development office, taking interest assessments and learning-style inventories and being mentored in both academic choices and career preparation.