Choosing a College Major

Choosing a major can be one of the toughest aspects of college. There seem to be so many choices!  This helpful guide will help you narrow the options and get you onto the path of a rewarding career — doing what you were created to do!

Five Steps to Choosing Your College Major

An academic counselor/advisor in the University Advising Center is equipped to assist undeclared students and students changing their major.  The first (pre)step is to make an appointment either online through Grades First or by calling 278-1787.  As you prepare to meet with a transitional advisor please consider the following:

  1. Assess or evaluate your interests. What are your passions?  What are you deeply interested in?  What types of things excite you? What kind of work appeals to you? Think about it and remember this.
  2. Take an honest look at your unique strengths and abilities. What are you good at?  What are the things that you’re better at than most people?  What were your best and most enjoyable subjects in high school? What activities and clubs were especially enjoyable to you? You are unique with many different innate preferences and skills – these are the ones that you should hone and refine, and so you should choose a major that uses those skills.
  3. It’s all about values.  Consider the things you value in work, such as growth, fixing things, being around people, helping the needy, working under pressure, security, counseling others, working in groups, attention to detail, making things, problem solving and many other values.  Considering what kinds of jobs can meet these values can be helpful as you consider some career options.
  4. Go explore career possibilities. Meet with a career counselor in the Career Services office located in Frank W. Thomas 103.  Your career counselor will work with you on various assessment and online resources to demonstrate what you can do with various majors. Not many people take advantage of the vast amount of resources.  There is a wealth of information that can literally determine your future.  Visit them early and ask questions.  They often have good resources for internships and job opportunities too.
  5. Do a feasibility check.  Ask yourself honestly: "Does the career I have in mind match who I am?"  Be realistic.  Someone may wish to become an architect, but if he or she has little skills in math (geometry) and drawing, then perhaps the person should reconsider choosing that major.  Sometimes there are ways to bypass these obstacles, but be wise and then you can avoid wasting your time and money on a wrong major.

Other Tips to Help You Choose Your Major

Be sure to:

  • Talk to upperclassmen and other classmates.  They’ve been there and done that.  You can benefit from their advice — what they’ve learned and the struggles they’ve gone through in their major. Don’t hesitate to consult them as a resource to gather more information about various majors.
  • Explore your college’s course catalog.  You might be surprised at the assortment of majors your college has to offer.
  • Talk to your academic advisor and other professors.  They will almost always be more than happy to give you some helpful advice.  They’ve been there and can tell you what their field is all about.
  • Your family and friends who know you well.  They know you best.  Be sure to filter out any unreasonable or bad advice, but be sure to listen.  They often have a lot of insights into who you are and what you are good at.

Used with permission of Student Tools Info


By using some or all of these resources you will be well on your way to choosing a career that will be satisfying, rewarding and enjoyable!