There are many ways to choose a major, and the process can look quite different for different students. University Studies advisors are here to make the process as painless and productive as it can be. The trick is to not get stuck and to keep moving forward. We apply a few standard principles to the process for just about everyone.
- Remember it’s OK to start off undeclared. Most students will eventually change their major. By starting off undeclared, you are already a step ahead of those students who will change eventually but don’t know it yet. Even though you might feel pressured to choose a major, you really do gain an advantage by taking a thoughtful, deliberate approach to the major exploration process.
- Use the process of elimination. As you explore, you will encounter new subjects and new disciplines. One of these might eventually become your major! Instead of trying to think of every possible major of interest now, flip the script. Try to eliminate majors based on poor fit with your interests, skills, etc. Narrow down your list of majors to give yourself a more reasonable task. You will have an easier time doing thoughtful, thorough research on the remaining choices.
- Prioritize more sequential, less flexible majors. If you have a list of majors in mind, it’s important to identify which majors are more sequential, meaning they must be completed in a specific sequence. For example, science and engineering majors require lots of math and allow for few free electives. We can help you identify which majors should be prioritized so you can eliminate them before possibly moving on to other majors on your list.
- Gain exposure by taking courses strategically. People, in general, are your best source of information about a major. This includes faculty, staff, and most importantly, students who are in that major. One of the best ways to surround yourself with students in a particular major is to take a course in that major. At DUS, these are the courses we call Exploratory. It’s important to take Exploratory (major) courses, and not just GenEds, early on, because they can give you a sense of the culture associated with a particular major or college.
Declare Your Major
Students must declare a major by the time they reach 60 credits. The process varies by school and college, but generally requires students to contact the school or college they plan to join and sign up for an information session (in person or online). School/college-specific information is available through TUportal, under Student Tools > Registration > Change of Program (Major). Or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and request instructions for declaring the specific major you have in mind.