Some not-so-minor points about declaring a major

Girl Thinking

You might not realize it, but you've already earned an "A" on the first test: You've chosen to be a college graduate, a degreed individual. You will join the ranks of the educated and be prepared for the future that awaits you.

That's a great start on the big picture. Now you need to focus on the details: What do I want to spend the rest of my life doing? ... Discovering a cure for cancer? Building rocket ships? Caring for the sick? Educating the next generation? Running a business?

Choosing a major area of study is not done on a whim. It is an important life decision, one that takes lots of thought and discussion.

Ready to begin choosing a major? Here's how:

Ask probing questions.

  • What classes do I most enjoy?
  • What activities outside of class are most important to me?
  • What goals have I set for myself?
  • What do I lose track of time doing?

That last one is a tie-breaker. People spend the most time doing the things they are best at and enjoy the most. Figure out how you can incorporate those skills and talents into your future career.

Get informed.

  • Know what all your choices are by exploring our areas of study and investigating the Undergraduate Studies Bulletin.
  • Talk with students and faculty in the departments that interest you.
  • Talk with professionals who are doing what you think you want to do. Ask them about the type of education you need to enter that field.

Test the waters.

  • Enroll in a variety of courses to explore your interests.
  • Get involved in co-curricular activities to expand your breadth of experience.

Stop and evaluate.

  • When it's time to declare a major, sit down and think long and hard. Review all you've done, how it has affected you, what you enjoyed the most and how it might fit into your future.