College Admissions

You Don't Need to Choose a Major, Yet

Part of the stress of applying to college is choosing  a major, but what if you were told that you don’t have to choose? It’s actually fine to delay this decision until after you’ve started taking classes. Most colleges and universities offer more than 50 to 100 major degree programs, and each of these majors could lead to a dozen or more distinctly different careers. Here are a few questions students often have about waiting to choose a major.

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What will happen if I don’t declare a major?

If you wait to declare a specific major, you are considered an exploratory student, (one who is discovering majors instead of settled on one). If you know you want to pursue a healthcare career or a natural science, make sure you register for the correct prerequisites (higher-level sciences and maths). There is absolutely no harm in waiting until you’ve earned at least 30 credit hours to declare a major. In fact, it’s better to wait until you know exactly what field you’d like to specialize in instead of choosing one and then ending up having to switch later.

What courses will take if I don’t declare a specific major?

For the first two years, you’ll spend much of your coursework on your General Education courses — courses in writing, literature, history, fine arts, social sciences, natural sciences, and math. Many students wonder why they need to study literature when they are majoring in math, for example, but an employer wants to hire a graduate who has a diverse range of knowledge, as well as a speciality in one’s field. Students develop essential workplace skills (like critical thinking) in many general education courses.

If I don’t declare a major, will I get to finish my degree in four years?

It is said that eight out of ten college students end up changing their major. If your major decision is one that you came to after much experience and deliberation, you’re much less likely to switch, and therefore more likely to finish in four years. Right after high school graduation, you may not even be aware of your individual strengths and interests. As you progress in your courses the first year, you’ll only learn more about yourself, and informed decisions are the best decisions.

So there you have it. If you’re stressing about choosing a major, just don’t!

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