- slide 1 of 4
Choosing Major in College
A major in college represents a collection of courses in one area of concentration. A major concentration generally starts with taking required liberal arts courses followed by courses in the subject of the major. For instance, out of a typical 126 to 133 credits required for a four-year Bachelor’s degree, approximately 36 credits will be concentrated in the major. For a two-year degree, a major would represent approximately 30 credits out of 75 total credits. These numbers vary based on the program of study and the school.
Choosing a major is an important endeavor for a college student and shouldn’t be taken lightly. While many college students declare their major during the application process, many do not which is perfectly fine. Students who are still undecided by the time of their first or second advisement appointment are declared as undecided majors on their college records. Advisors will encourage undecided students to pursue classes and activities that will help them move closer to deciding on a major within a short period of time.
- slide 2 of 4
Steps for Finding the Right Major in College
There are a myriad of activities for undecided students to make a decision on a major of study for their college years. Students should look to engage activities on their own in addition to taking advantage of workshops and activities sponsored by school departments such as placement, dean’s office and academic offices.
For students working on their own to decide on a major, it’s helpful to first assess your interests and skills. Students who study majors related to their own interests and skills are more likely to succeed by having more persistence to stick it out. If you’re not sure of your skills and interests, consider the following questions to encourage your exploration --
- What subjects did you like in your early school years? Which ones did you do well in?
- What types of hobbies and activities do you enjoy in your spare time?
- What books do you read in your spare time?
- Do you like being around people? If yes, what groups? For example, young children? Older adults? Disabled?
- Do you like being around animals? Do you like being outdoors?
Considering these types of questions are helpful activities for undecided majors. Also, getting advice and counseling from teachers, advisors, family and friends can also be helpful. Once you get an idea of the types of things you gravitate towards, start researching major options available in your school. Obtain a course catalog, study the different academic departments and what they have to offer. Talk to professors in those departments, take introductory courses and research career options in those subjects.
- slide 3 of 4
Points To Remember
A college major is a concentration of courses that represent about a third of the total number of credits taken during a two or four-year degree program. Choosing a major for college is a serious endeavor that every college student faces in their academic career. There are various supports and activities for undecided students that undeclared majors can engage in to identify a worthwhile major for study while in college.
- slide 4 of 4
Choosing a College Major
(Photo by Kelly Martin; Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org)