Strategy Tips for Deciding on a Major

Take time exploring different areas of study

Find helpful advice for researching your college major options and finding an area of study which interests you Chances are you definitely know where you’re going to college, but you have no idea what to pursue once you get there. It seems there is a common misconception among incoming college freshmen that once they decide on a college, they automatically have to decide on a field of study—but there’s no shame in declaring yourself “undeclared.” In the meantime, here are some tips to help you start exploring different areas of study.

Make Lists

It might help to make a list of high school subjects that interested you most—you may even find that these are also subjects you excelled in academically. Start with the first subject on your list, and look into the majors that are offered within that department at your college. For example, if English is first on your list, check out the offerings of your college’s English department, such as literature, creative writing, technical and scientific communication, or linguistics. You may find a field that strikes you, or you may not. If you don’t, try the next subject on your list.

Read Up

If you’re unsure about what subjects interest you, pick up information packets from different departments at your school on each major that’s offered. These packets should include required classes for each major. You can also read about these individual requirements in a class bulletin that the school provides. If you think you’ve found a potential major from this information, talk it over with your parents and/or advisor to get some feedback on your decision.

Expand Your Course Horizons

All incoming college freshmen have to take a certain number of general requirement courses. Before scheduling, read up on courses that would fulfill these requirements and look more closely at those that spark your interest. Take courses in a wide range of subjects allows you to explore many areas of study. You may ultimately decide on a major because of a general requirement course.

It’s OK to Change Your Mind

Just because you’ve declared a major does not make it a blood oath. If you find that the major you’ve chosen isn’t for you, go back to the drawing board. Once you’ve decided on a new major, meet with your advisor so they can help you make the official change. Also, devise a plan with your advisor that will help you catch up on your new major’s course requirements.


This article was written by Emily Stewart

Emily Stewart holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism and English/literature from Miami University. She is a marketing specialist for Planes Companies in Cincinnati, Ohio, and a freelance writer whose recent work includes the U.S. Business Review.

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