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“What are you going to major in?”


Do people ask you this question a lot? It’s okay if you don’t have an answer yet!

You are not alone. Twenty percent of Iowa State freshmen arrive without declaring a major. Like them, you can join the Open Option program, which lets you actively explore your interests before selecting a major.

If one of these statements sounds like you, Open Option may be a great fit for you:

  • I know what I want to do after graduation, but I’m not sure how to get there.
  • I’m trying to decide between two to three majors. How do I choose?
  • I don’t have strong feelings about any major. I’m open to anything!

So, what is Open Option?

Photo of students on a Study Abroad tripOpen Option is a strategic way to explore classes and possibilities. You can be confident as you keep moving forward in your academic journey, while identifying potential future paths based on your interests, goals and strengths. Open Option lets you be curious and ask questions.

You’ll spend your time in classes and activities that interest you — and these classes will count toward your graduation requirements. Do you love science, but aren’t sure if you belong in a lab or on a mountainside? Perhaps your interests are diverse: People? Computers? Design? As an Open Option student, you can take classes in several of your interest areas and see what feels right for you.

What you’ll do as an Open Option student

Photo of an education student with two young childrenYou will take LAS 101, a class to help you explore your interest areas, personal goals and majors across campus. The Open Option program has its academic home in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS), but you can take classes in any area and go on to choose a major in any of the other undergraduate colleges.

Along with LAS 101, you will take classes in your interest areas while fulfilling general education requirements. A dedicated adviser just for Open Option students will help you create your class schedule around your academic strengths and personal interests.

Open Option is unique, but you will have the same experiences as other Iowa State students! You don’t have to wait to declare a major to study abroad, visit Career Services, join a learning community, go to student clubs, perform in a music ensemble or audition for ISU Theatre. Your options are wide open.

And when you do feel ready to declare a major from the 100+ options at Iowa State, you’ll feel confident you are making a choice that’s right for YOU.

Start your adventure with Open Option