Nazareth’s GEM: Guided Exploration of Majors is an individualized program for undeclared students seeking your perfect-fit major or combination of academic programs from among 60 majors and more than 70 minors.

How we help you hone in on a major:

  • Course: A one-credit Academic Advisement class called Exploring Self, Majors, and Careers. Measure your strengths, explore the majors and careers that energize you, and work through an informed decision-making process.
  • Workshops: With help from Career Services, research career options, participate in facilitated group workshops, and engage in external career shadowing (externship) opportunities. Unlock your unknown strengths using assessment tools such as Focus II.
  • Social gatherings: Led by a student coordinator, learn collaboratively in a community of undeclared students. Through formal and informal dialogue, students cross-educate each other on options and share perspectives and networks. You can choose to live in a residence hall floor with other GEM students.
  • Advisement: Enhanced academic advisement with advisors experienced in working with undeclared students. Includes course selection, individualized guidance on the decision-making process, and referrals to campus resources such as career services, professors, or department chairs.
  • Hands-on learning: Nazareth’s experiential learning programs help you get involved, apply your knowledge, and expand your network — to help you find your niche.
  • Core curriculum: Nazareth’s core curriculum exposes you to many possibilities while also teaching skills needed in any career and in life — such as speaking and writing, analytical reasoning, and problem-solving. You’ll learn how to ask big questions and investigate how course themes and the broader world intersect, which can help you further develop what you want to do next in life.

Bottom Line

Almost a third of Nazareth students enter college unsure about their major or their career direction. Rather than journey on your own, through GEM you’ll follow a successful model to land in a place where you are confident, excited, and well prepared to define your life’s work.


Cara J. Capparelli

Cara J. Capparelli

Lead Academic Counselor for Undeclared Student Success in Academic Advisement
Smyth Hall 2

Student Coordinator

Jessica E. Brown

Jessica E. Brown

Student Spotlight: Scott Dawson '16

Dawson, a Nazareth hockey player from Ottawa, didn't declare a major initially. As a sophomore, he became a double major in business and economics.

"I think Nazareth is a great place for students who are not quite sure what they want to major in yet. With so many core classes, it gives students the opportunity to test the waters in many different areas of study and really figure out what subjects catch their interest."

"It’s Okay to be Undeclared!"

Kelsey Sweet '15 came to Naz undeclared and ended up a communications and media major, a sports marketing minor, and a sports marketing intern at Naz. Kelsey went on to a sports marketing career. Read about how Sweet chose her academic focus.

Kayla Virts, Undeclared, Nazareth College

Alumni spotlight: Kayla Virts '14

"I felt like I came into college as a sponge and I soaked up everything," says Virts, who entered as an undeclared major. "When the time was right, I think those things all came together and a major blossomed out of that." Her first-year classroom, internship, volunteer, and career guidance experiences helped her find a good fit: a bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in business. That prepared her for her full-time job as CARE network coordinator at University of Rochester, providing support and intervention to students in distress. "This is just what I want to do."