Many first-year students enter college as undeclared. Merrimack’s Discover Program is here to help you select a major while keeping you on track to graduate in four years.
Goals of the Discover Program
While we know that choosing a major can be a daunting task, we are here for you. The primary goal of the Discover Program is to help you pick a major by the end of your sophomore year, with the goal to graduate in four years. Through one-on-one advising, we help you:
- Identify subjects you are interested in
- Explore personal strengths and challenges
- Understand your decision-making processes and learning styles
- Research career interests and internship opportunities
- Empower you to take action towards your goals
Our process is multi-dimensional. We have designed the program to include one-on-one advising meetings, specialized cohort classes, the First-Year Experience course, career exploration, workshops and fun programs.
- You begin by meeting with your Discover advisor a minimum of two times a semester with your choice of in-person or through Zoom.
- You will learn how to plan a semester schedule, search and register for classes that meet both general education requirements and major exploration interests, and ultimately map out a course plan.
- You will explore further in Merrimack’s Four-Step Discover Process which includes identifying your strengths and challenges, filtering your ideas, alleviating self-doubt and motivating you towards a decision.
- You will work with us to use programs like Burning Glass and LinkedIn Learning. These programs help you discover the different skill sets needed for career interests. You will use LinkedIn Learning to earn badges that will enhance your resume.
Specialized Cohort Classes
During your first semester, you will have the opportunity to register for Discover cohort classes. You will be part of a learning community that fosters connections with other students who are also in the process of major exploration.
First-Year Experience Course
All first-year students are required to take the First-Year Experience (FYE) course. We offer multiple Discover FYE sections that help you get a better understanding of the self.
You are assigned a Career Advisor in the O’Brien Center for Career Development. The Career Advisor helps you understand how majors influence career options. The career advising process also offers internship opportunities to assist you as you explore your future academic and personal interests.
Workshops and Fun Programs
Our workshops are designed to meet your developmental needs. They may include time management, study skills, and registration processes. The fun programs may include yoga, study break sessions with therapy dogs, and other supportive initiatives.
Meet Some Recently Declared Students
Cassandra DeLegge, '25
Tell us about your transition from an undeclared major to your current major.
It took me a while to have the courage to declare a major. I knew I absolutely wanted to do something with music, but was not sure what to pair it with. I first started thinking about being an elementary school music teacher, but soon realized it was not my calling. Last year, I met with multiple advisors to get more of an insight into Communication and Media, which has always been floating around in my head.
Of course, it is nerve-racking to make big decisions, but I was able to go from undeclared to a double major in communications/media and music. Overall, my transition went very smoothly! I decided to declare because I knew I had a passion for music. Looking at what communication and media can offer me, I was very excited to see a connection between music and the idea of marketing – where I can let my creativity shine.
Katie Cappello, '25
What courses did you take as an undeclared major?
My first year as an undeclared major was very eye-opening. I took a variety of classes to figure out what I wanted my major to be. I took Introduction to Psychology, Introduction to Business, and Foundations and Principles of Education. I am so happy I was able to take these classes because not only was I able to learn about topics I am interested in, but I was able to weed out what I liked about each class and talk about it with my advisor to find more classes like that.
When looking at colleges, I knew I needed somewhere where I felt supported in all aspects of my academics. When entering as an undeclared major, I felt an overwhelming sense of support before I even stepped foot on campus. As a first-year student, I knew I could find support from my FYE mentor, my program coach, my advisor, or any of my professors. Everyone I have been connected to for support has either supported me themselves, or found someone who could support me. I know that I can find support in academics, social life, accessibility, student involvement, and career advisement easily on campus.