Your approach to your major decision depends a lot on where you are in the process.
The major decision requires you do three things:
- Know Yourself
- Know the Majors
- Find the Right Fit
If you don't feel like you have a strong sense of your strengths and interests, or a clear picture of all your options for a major, take the time this year to work on those areas. See the advice below for ways to get to know yourself, to know the majors, and to find the right fit. To jumpstart the process, attend a Major Decision Workshop in late September or early October.
- Identify your strengths and interests. You'll need both to succeed in your major.
- Not sure what your strengths and interests are? You're not alone. The following may help:
- Create a personal "cabinet" of advisors including your four-year advisor, other trusted faculty, and friends and family who truly get you. Be selective. Then ask them what they think your greatest strengths and interests are.
- Use professional self-assessment tools (Strong Interest Inventory and Myers Briggs) at the Career Center to assess your interests and strengths and to identify the majors and occupations that tend to go with them. A Career Center advisor will review the results with you.
Know the Majors
- Attend the Major-Minor Fair in early October, your opportunity to gather information from many majors, to meet friendly faculty, and to ask any questions, all in one place!
- See the Majors at a Glance for basic requirements
- See Show Me My Major!" to identify majors related to your interests
- See the department or program web site to find out more details about opportunities for study abroad, undergraduate research, and extra-curricular events in the major
- Take a 300-level course in the major, which tends to give a more accurate view of the major than an introductory course.
- Talk with a faculty member and an upper-class student in the major. Don't know any? Contact the department or program directly for names and contacts.
- See "What's the Difference?" when selecting among majors or programs that seem similar, including the following.
Find the Fit
- Fit is elusive, though you know it when you find it. You find the right fit when your strengths and interests meet the demands of the major; when the personality and culture of a major suits your own; when you can see how you will use a major to pursue your own plans; and when you welcome the ways a major may change you.