When Do I Select a Major?

50% of students go to college without a clear intended major. You can decide on a major anytime you feel it is a good match with your strengths, weaknesses, abilities and future goals.

Many students enter college not knowing what they will major in and many will change their mind once, twice, even more times before they find the right choice. Some universities actually discourage premature selection of major and ask that you wait until the sophomore year to make this choice. On the other hand, many students need an academic plan set their freshmen year, so they can graduate within 4 years. Having a couple majors in mind going into college will only help you get ahead of your college planning – and help you have a backup plan if your first choice isn’t right for you!

For instance, engineering majors specify exactly what you need to take in each semester. Consequently, some courses you take while pursuing other majors may not count toward your final major, thereby extending the time and cost of completing your education. At 25,000 a year in tuition and fees, this can be a costly waste of time! If you have thoughts about which major you would like, start taking courses in that field to try out your hunch. It may confirm your feelings or it may convince you that this field is a mistake for you. Almost all majors have sequences of courses in which some courses are prerequisites for others. Delaying too long, may make it impossible to graduate on time.

Some people – high school counselors, your parents, university-wide academic advisors, for example, are completely neutral in their recommendations. Others, faculty in a discipline or advisors for a particular college within a university may consciously or unconsciously, try to encourage you to consider a major because it benefits they department or college to have more majors, rather than that it is best for you. Contact these people when you have already decided to consider their programs.

If you already know your major prior to going to college, make sure the evaluate the colleges academic strength in that major and even job placement. If you want to graduate from XYZ university, make sure they have a great program and you can get a job after graduation!

Good luck!

You can find your major, college, and career on MyMajors. Use the career page to help write a resume with the skills and abilities section.

Take the MyMajors Quiz to find your major – http://www.mymajors.com/college-major-quiz.cfml


I have been working in the education industry since 2008. Our mission is to help each student find the right major and complete their degree.

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