How To Choose A College Major
Last updated November 29, 2020
Choosing a major is a HUGE decision. Your major determines what subject(s) you’ll be dedicating the majority of your time in college to, influences what careers and career trajectories you have access to, and influences what kind of graduate programs you can enroll in if you so choose after obtaining an undergraduate degree. Don’t let the stakes overwhelm you, though!
Here are two big questions to consider as you think about how to choose a major:
- What do you enjoy learning about?
Majoring in something you hate, or find too difficult, is a recipe for failure. Think about what subjects and activities you enjoy, and which ones make you curious and compel you to investigate and learn more. Look through your college’s course catalog and circle classes that seem interesting. Then, identify what major those classes are connected to. This will help you choose your major!
2. What careers are you interested in?
A college education is an investment in yourself - your growth, new networks and friendships, lifelong learning, and new experiences. But in more tangible terms, it’s also a huge financial investment, one that many undertake with the aim of accessing better career opportunities. Think hard about what kind of work you might enjoy doing, or find fulfilling, but also look at the job market, average salary, and average salary increase over time for majors in each career field you’re considering. This tool, that matches careers to majors/degrees, can help!
Some careers require a graduate degree
If you’re interested in an advanced degree beyond a bachelor’s, some graduate programs look for specific degrees as a part of their prerequisite admission criteria. For example, someone looking to become a pharmacist (which requires an advanced medical degree) would need to choose a major in a related field like biology, pharmacology, biochemistry, etc. to get into a PharmD graduate program.
Still can’t decide? Remember - you don’t have to make a decision right away!
You typically don’t have to declare a major until the end of your sophomore year.
Talk to your college advisers, deans of departments, and professionals
It’s your college adviser’s job to help guide you through this decision-making process! They can help you answer questions about what different majors are like at your school, what alumni from your college who chose a particular major are doing now, and more!
Similarly, you can always email the dean of the department of a major you’re interested in with questions. If you’re interested in studying Computer Science, for example, you’d email the dean of the Department of Computer Science - straightforward, right?
Our team is also always available to answer questions and help talk you through the process of choosing a major! Just text “Hello” to 33-55-77!