Selecting Your Majors and Academic Colleges at Villanova


There are numerous colleges and universities for a student to pursue his or her academic career. When one adds the number of choices for academic programs to the equation, the number of options can be overwhelming. To make things more confusing, each college out there has its own policies on a number of different aspects of selecting your academic major.  They can include:

  • Applying as a general student for your first year and applying for specific majors later on during your time at a college
  • Applying to specific programs as a high school student
  • The ease in changing academic programs should you find that you prefer something else
  • Adding a second major, additional minors or concentrations

We in the admission office believe that our process is quite straight forward.  When you submit your application, the student must apply directly to one of these 5 areas:

  • Liberal Arts
  • Sciences
  • Business
  • Engineering
  • Nursing

Additionally, keep in mind that some of these areas ask the student to apply directly to specific majors. Take note that:

  • Nursing students are required to choose a major.
  • Engineers must apply directly to either Chemical, Civil, Computer, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering
  • Both Liberal Arts and Business students will apply to these academic colleges, but they will be undecided students within these areas.  It is important to emphasize that these students will be designated to be Liberal Arts or Business when they are admitted to Villanova. Students can choose their major, at the latest, at the end of their sophomore years.
  • Sciences students can apply directly to a major or can apply as an undecided student within the sciences.  If they are undecided, they can choose their major at the end of their sophomore years.

It is true that applications are reviewed differently depending on the program that is being selected. As an example, the science and math performances for students applying for Engineering will be viewed more critically compared to students applying to other programs.

Additionally, the number of students applying to a program can increase the level of competition for that particular program.  As an example, business has been one of the most popular places to apply at Villanova in recent years.  This has indeed made the program more difficult for admission recently.  Whether or not that will remain true for this year is difficult to predict.  The same can be said of other programs at Villanova.

Using the business example, students in the past have asked about applying to different programs, and then transferring into the program later.  Our office would dissuade you from applying with this strategy.  The reality is that transferring into the business program can be incredibly difficult.

To clarify, transferring to programs, other than business, does not pose much difficulty. However, a student who has progressed through significant time in a specific major may experience difficulty graduating within 4 years if the switch happens later in their academic career.

We in the admission office hope that you find this information helpful as you complete your application.  We will be addressing other topics on this blog as the year progresses.  If you have anything that you would like us to address, please comment and let us know!

If you would like more information on any of the programs you are considering, view our online Course Catalog here:

Remember that the Early Action application deadline is November 1, and the Regular Decision application deadline is January 15.