Guide to Changing Your Major

With college costs on the rise, students feel increased pressure to choose the right major and to make every class count. Unfortunately, many college students don’t have the knowledge or guidance to help them with this decision. If you want to change your major, follow the steps below to increase your chances of making the best decision.

Consider Your Motivation for Changing

Asking yourself a few questions before changing your major can save time, money, and regret. Why do you want to change majors?  A difficult class shouldn’t cause you to change your major. You also shouldn’t change due to pressure from other people.  Make sure your decision isn’t based on something that will prove insignificant in the long run.

Research Majors and Careers

As technology changes, so do majors offered by universities. Many interesting, marketable majors are overlooked in favor of more popular majors. When choosing a new major, consider every major available-even those that aren’t familiar to you. To learn the latest on all majors, read Book of Majors 2011 (College Board Book of Majors)

Find Your Best Careers

One method to choose the best major is to work backwards by determining your best career fit. After finding the careers that match your personality, values, and interests, you can identify the majors that best prepare you for those careers. The following steps can help you narrow down your choices.

Take a Class or Two

Some classes are closed to non-majors, but if possible, take a course or two in majors that interest you.  An introductory course can help you confirm your interest in the topic, introduce you to areas of concentration within the field, and possibly give you an idea of career options.

Try an Internship

An internship or part-time job could help you make a decision about which major would be best for your career goals. Before spending time and money on a degree, discover what working in a related field is really like. Internship experience will increase the likelihood of getting a return on your investment. You’ll also graduate with valuable work experience – and maybe even a job offer!

Talk with an Adviser

Once you decide on a new major, make an appointment with an academic adviser in the department of your chosen major. Your adviser can help you build a schedule, choose the correct classes, and recommend resources to help you make the transition.

Changing majors happens frequently and many students change majors several times throughout their college years. While sticking with the wrong major isn’t recommended, jumping from major to major isn’t the answer, either. To prevent wasted time and money, take the necessary steps to identify the best major for you.