Not sure of your major? You're not alone! Nearly two-thirds of Central's first-year students are unclear about their major when they arrive on campus. That's okay! You're part of the 75 percent of American college students who either start their college career as undecided or change their major at least once. It's all part of the process of exploring your options.

Central College students who start as exploring can still graduate in four years! In fact, they graduate in four years at the same rate as the rest of the student body. You are not required to declare a major until the end of your sophomore year, so the key is to use your first two years wisely! Central has lots of resources available to help you evaluate your options and make an informed decision you can feel confident about.

of American college students start college undecided or change their major
  • Two-thirds of first-year students are unclear about their major at first
  • 4 years: exploring students graduate on time at the same rate as other students

The Real World


Successful Careers

Starting as an exploring student at Central won't keep you from building toward a great career. These former exploring students found jobs after graduation and graduate school programs they needed to be successful:

  • Research associate, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Marion, Iowa
  • U.S. Marine Corps Officer, Quantico, Va.
  • Client service specialist, Applied Underwriters, Omaha, Neb.
  • AmeriCorps member, Flood Relief Project, Cedar Rapids, Iowa


No matter what your interests, Central has student groups and organizations for you. Check out the more than 100 student groups on campus here

Central College student

Graduate Placement

  • Graduate student, library and information science, Madison, Wis.
  • Graduate student, College of Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
  • Graduate student, vocal performance, Roosevelt University, Chicago, Ill.
  • Graduate student, counseling and career development, Colorado State University, Boulder, Colo.


Internships are a great way to gain career experience. Central students complete internships in the Pella and Des Moines area, on our Chicago, Washington, D.C. or New York City programs or while studying abroad. Past internship sites of exploring students include:

  • Corporate benefits intern, Vermeer Corporation, Pella, Iowa
  • Youth ministry intern, Pella United Methodist Church, Pella, Iowa
  • Conservation intern, The Nature Conservancy, Sioux City, Iowa
  • Women's shelter intern, Crisis Intervention Services, Oskaloosa, Iowa

Learn more about internships at Central.

The Central Difference


It can be challenging to make your "major" decision, but it becomes easier when you know where to start. You can take steps during your first two years at Central that will help you discover more about yourself and opportunities available to you. Here's your to-do list!

Take a variety of courses from across the curriculum. Don't just satisfy your core requirements. Choose courses that will help you intentionally explore your interests.

Attend workshops and events to learn about career opportunities and strategize for your future plans.Talk with real professionals about what they do. There's no simpler way to find out if it's for you. Central will help set up a job shadow or informational interview.

Get a job! On- or off-campus part-time jobs will help you learn about what you do and don't want to do - plus you gain skills and experience.Join clubs, organizations and teams on campus. It's great leadership experience, it builds skills and it's fun!

Volunteer through service-learning. It helps the community while building connections and your resume.

Who to Talk To

People are the best resources. There are lots of people at Central who are ready to answer your questions. 

Your academic adviser: Ask your adviser about creating a class schedule, introductory courses for various majors or how and when to declare a major.

Professors: If something catches your interest in a course, ask the professor about similar courses or majors.

Class dean: Talk with your class dean if you're not sure where to start in the process, you're uncertain about your academic options, or for help laying out a course schedule.

Director of Career and Professional Development: Talk about assessing your interests and the careers for which a major will prepare you.

Other students: Ask your fellow students about their majors, how they decided and their advice on majors at Central.

Central College students.

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to study abroad with Central College to enhance their development as global citizens. Academic opportunities and internship programs also are available in Chicago, Washington, D.C. and New York City. Learn more about global experiential learning at Central.


Central College is one of the most beautiful college campuses you'll find. A perfect mix of old and new, our buildings reflect our history and our future. Central's distinctive library is a spacious and popular haven with more than 230,000 volumes, computer stations, a multimedia collection and extensive online catalog.

Learn More

Want to find out more about undecided/exploring at Central? Contact us to learn more about this major and our other strong academic programs. Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.