Choosing a Major

Categories: Majors & Minors

When deciding on a major, it is important to first assess what you are interested in and what careers are available for someone with your intended skill set. You will have many opportunities to put your studies to work in classes, jobs, and internships throughout college, which will also help you narrow down your field of study to something that you will genuinely enjoy doing after you graduate. As a freshman, if you find yourself struggling to pick a major, don’t worry! There’s still time to figure it out, and the great thing about college is that it’s pretty easy to change your major later on if you feel you may be better suited to study something else.

What Do You Like?

An easy way to preliminarily decide what you want to major in is to think about what you liked learning in high school. There are different paths available in every major from computer science to nutrition to art and design, and understanding where your general academic interests lie is a great way to narrow down the field. Once you decide what subject you’d like to explore, the major requirements you need to take will help you figure out which specific aspects of the subject most appeals to you.

Make the Most of General Requirements

Throughout college, you will need to take certain classes to fill university-wide requirements. Generally, students will need to take a combination of a foreign language, an introduction to science, a low-level math class, and one or two college writing classes in order to graduate. Though you may initially see these classes as an undesirable addition to your course load, changing your attitude and seeing them as a way to explore different majors can help you find a subject you may be drawn to that you weren’t aware of before. It is very common for students to change majors after declaring, or pick up a minor they would have never considered upon entering school. Look through the course guide and pick classes that meet requirements and afford you the opportunity to explore new interests.

Use Your Resources

College syllabi and older upperclassmen can be great resources when choosing on a major. Many professors will post required readings and assignments with the course description, allowing you to see what the workload will be like before you sign up for the class. As you decide what classes to take, explore the syllabi and see if the coursework is something that interests you. If you find yourself dreading most of the work you will have during the semester, it may be a good idea to consider looking for different tracks of study within your field, or changing your major altogether. Another great resource that is available is the peer-advising office, where you can get advice and talk to upperclassmen in your major about what they enjoy most and least about the program.

Original Post Date: August 6th, 2012

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