So You Don’t Know What to Major In…

Heather Gupton
Heather Gupton

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Everyone knows that student who has known they want to be a doctor or a lawyer their entire life. And there are plenty of high school students who have found their favorite subject, and are pretty sure they want to major in it. But there are also lots of students who have absolutely no idea. It can be scary and bewildering if you fall into that “don’t know what to major in” category. Luckily, we’ve been there.

Every student is different, and there are plenty of current college students who still don’t know what they want to major in. Here are some helpful tips for students applying undecided, and how to discover what major could be the perfect fit. 

Look into different clubs to figure out what you’re interested in.

Clubs are a really great way to try out new things. They frequently don’t require a lot of commitment, they bring together like-minded people, and they’re usually very specific. Best of all, you can join clubs in high school and college. If you join the Future Business Leaders of America club in high school, you may discover a love for economics or accounting. Joining clubs in college can expose you to a different network of people from your classmates or roommates. New people might introduce you to different majors, or a club might focus on a subject taught in college, but not in high school, like anthropology. Unlike college or high school classes that require 6 months to a year’s commitment, you can swap and change clubs with ease to find a subject that interests you.   

Go through the list of majors offered at universities before signing up to go there.

This may sound like an obvious tip, but it’s  really easy for students to get swept away by a beautiful campus or a fun student culture, and forget the main focus – studies! By going through the list of majors offered, you may discover ones you didn’t know existed like oceanography, adventure education, or nautical archaeology. Some schools offer very specific majors that students may have never heard of, and the more you explore, the more likely you will make an informed choice. I would also recommend looking over the classes offered for each major. This will give you an idea of what subjects make up each major, and could give you ideas about related subjects as well.

Reach out to professors and current students to learn more about new subjects.

Talking to people who are experts in the subject can give you a deeper understanding of the major. For example, psychology majors often have to take statistics as part of their coursework and the work they do can be incredibly analytical. Speaking to a professor can help you understand the research areas and specializations. Students can tell you what they hope to do with the degree. Understanding what goes into a major and what you can do with it once you enter the job market are a very important part of declaring a major.

Always remember that it is possible to go to college without knowing what you’re going to major in, or what you’re going to do after school. Focus on being open to new classes and new experiences! Then, with some determination, you’ll find your major.  

Questions? Let us know!