Marissa L McCray



Download Project (394 KB)


While selection of an academic major is pivotal for undeclared students, many lack direction and struggle to understand the meaning of prescribed, seemingly unrelated general education courses traditionally required in the initial college curriculum. Moreover, many undeclared students grapple with a sense of calling or purpose among academic choices, future careers, and broader facets of emerging adulthood. An interdisciplinary curriculum counters the disconnect between compartmentalized disciplines and helps students recognize connections between disciplines and wider contexts. The purpose of this qualitative case study is to explore how the University of Dayton Core Program shapes undeclared students’ academic major selection and vocational outlook. This study examines Core students who began the program as Discover Arts (undeclared) and evaluates how Core shaped their academic major selection and vocation discernment. Qualitative data was collected from one-on-one interviews with junior Core students who recently completed the 2 ½ year interdisciplinary program. Findings revealed numerous themes and patterns surrounding the academic major selection process and the impact made by the Core Program during discernment. This study assesses future implications for continued best practices and seeks to address a gap in the literature about the influence of interdisciplinary curricula on undeclared students’ choices about academic major and vocational outlook.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Graham F. Hunter

Primary Advisor's Department

Counselor Education


Stander Symposium project, student affairs, School of Education and Health Sciences

The Impact of an Interdisciplinary Program on Undeclared Students’ Academic Major Choice and Vocation Discernment