Open Option Program at Iowa State University

Open Option Program

Group of students walking outside Lagomarcino Hall

What are you going to major in?

Do you get asked this question often? It’s okay if you don’t have an answer yet!

Plenty of Iowa State students begin their first year without declaring a major. Like them, you can find your path with the Open Option program. We’ll guide you in actively exploring your strengths and interests before you select a major.

Open Option might be right for you if …

If one of these statements sounds familiar, the Open Option program may be the right path for you.

  • I’m trying to decide between several majors. How do I choose?
  • I know what career I want after graduation, but I’m not sure what to study.
  • I don’t have strong feelings about any major.

I felt unsure about what I wanted to study going into my first year here, but through Open Option, I was able to take different classes within many majors and figure out which ones I enjoyed the most. From there, I was able to find my path and choose the majors that best suited what I wanted to do as my career.

Marcus, ’26 communication studies

You’re a major in the making

Iowa State’s Open Option program helps you strategically explore classes and potential paths based on your interests, goals, and strengths.

Your Open Option advisor will help you choose classes and activities that interest you – and these classes will count toward your graduation requirements. You’ll also be part of a supportive learning community and class with other Open Option students.

And when you’re ready to declare a major from the 100+ options at Iowa State, you’ll feel confident in your choice.

View majors, minors, and certificates


Wide open opportunities


Want to join a student club, audition for a music ensemble, or get involved with the Student Innovation Center? Go for it. Open Option majors have all the same opportunities as their fellow Cyclones.

A Cyclone in the making