Program Summary

Not sure what you want to study? You’re not alone—and we are here to help you find your way. You can take time to explore your academic options by leaving your major undeclared for your first year. You can choose from a wide variety of courses and get academic advice on possible majors and careers. Once you’ve discovered first-hand what Carleton has to offer, you’ll be in a better position to decide on your future path.

What does it mean to be BA Undeclared?

The BA Undeclared is a program of study within the Bachelor of Arts for students who want to explore their options before deciding on a particular major. It is the perfect option for students who 1) are interested in multiple fields within the Bachelor of Arts and are having a difficult time deciding on one area of study, or students who 2) feel that they would benefit from experiencing their first-year classes before deciding on a particular area of study.

Who can be BA Undeclared?

The BA Undeclared is designed for new incoming students with little or no previous university credit. If you use the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre to apply for admission to Carleton, you can choose BA Undeclared as your area of study.

Students within the BA Undeclared work with university advisors and services during their first year to assess their skills and then, after one year of exploration, students enter a major. While most students choose to enter a major within the Bachelor of Arts after their year of study within the BA Undeclared, others apply for admission to degree programs outside of the Bachelor of Arts.

First-year experience

There are two different paths you can choose as a first-year BA Undeclared student. If you already have ideas about the areas of study you may want to pursue, you can create your own class schedule. The BA Undeclared support team can help you choose classes that fit your interests.

First-year BA students are strongly encouraged to include a First-year Seminar (FYSM) in their first-year course load. Our First-year Seminars will get you away from the lecture hall and give you the chance, in a small class of no more than 30 students, to discuss and debate topics with your classmates and your professors.

Support team

If you choose to become a BA Undeclared student, there is a team of faculty and staff members who can help you navigate your first year at Carleton and find the right area of study.

FASS Office of the First Year

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) is responsible for advising all BA Undeclared students. They can advise you about options for building a first-year class schedule, guide you towards an area of study, and help you connect to the services you need on campus. They also serve as the primary point of contact if you encounter any issues during first-year registration.

Academic Advising Centre

The Academic Advising Centre (AAC) is passionate about helping undeclared BA students choose their major. Senior Academic Advisors are available to meet with you one on one to:

  • discuss the majors available for you to choose from;
  • explore options for combining majors;
  • help you add a concentration, specialization or a minor; and
  • make sure your courses taken will count toward your declared major.

The advisors will help you think about your interests, abilities and values. They will also help you understand how your academic skills translate into real-world skills. And because AAC Advisors and Career Counsellors work as a team, you will be encouraged to follow up with the fantastic resources offered by Co-op and Career Services.

Find out more about the BA Undeclared.