The DGS Experience

Did you know that 80% of college students change their major at least once?

On average, students will actually change their major three times according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

DGS is a favorite choice

Each fall, DGS welcomes about 1400 new students and we have about 1100 continuing sophomore students each year! 

It’s okay to not know your major

You can start your Illinois experience with access to more than 150 majors and generally explore for up to four semesters before you decide.

DGS is for you if you:      

  • Have multiple interests and talents.      
  • Want to explore options before declaring a major.      
  • Have certain goals, like attending medical school or owning your own company, but are unsure of what major will best help you achieve them.      
  • Want to tailor your class schedule to meet requirements for multiple academic interests.

Already Admitted?

If you have already been admitted to DGS, make sure your first stop by our Admitted Students page for all the information you need to help clarify your academic, personal, and career goals!

DGS Programs

GS 101

Taught by DGS Academic Advisors, this first-year experience course is designed to help you with the transition from high school to the University of Illinois. We are familiar with the requirements of all majors across campus and are excited to help students find the right one.

DGS James Scholars Honors

High-achieving students are encouraged to go above and beyond by becoming DGS James Scholars. Our honors program provides students with opportunities to develop skills in leadership, research, service-learning, and creativity.


The Pre-Engineering Program (PREP) provides an opportunity for highly qualified students to prepare themselves for possible transfer into the Grainger College of Engineering.

Enrichment Experience Program

The DGS Enrichment Experience Program (EEP) is a support program for undeclared undergraduates who are exploring academic majors and career opportunities at Illinois. Participants benefit from a variety of curricular and co-curricular opportunities that position them well for success at Illinois and for transition into their major of choice.

Where Do Students Go?

Choose Illinois now.
Choose your major later.

Student Stories

The biggest strength was the abundance of resources that existed on campus solely for the purpose of choosing a major. Every advisor I knew from DGS knew about every major on campus and was able to communicate what to expect from those programs and what kind of career options could be available for me.


DGS’s greatest strength in guiding students through major exploration is most definitely their advisors. Through DGS, students are exposed to a variety of advisors with a diverse set of backgrounds, experiences, and contacts. Through working with these special individuals, I was able to learn something new every appointment and their insight was the primary advice that helped me choose a path of study.


DGS set me up for the rest of my college career by being that necessary foundation for me to grow as a person and as a student. DGS taught me that it is okay to not know what you want to do right away and they helped me through every step of the exploration process


As an incoming freshman, I was more than excited. I looked forward to all the opportunities that were available at Illinois. That being said, I’m very glad I came in as a DGS student because I was not only able to experiment with different aspects of learning but I also become comfortable and confident in the major that I chose. I believe going into DGS eliminated many fears and provided a smooth transition to where I am today!


Please check out our Prospective, Transfer, and International student pages to find more information.
If you have any Admissions related questions, please email