Changing Your Major

Things to consider before you decide to switch majors

Choosing a major is not an irreversible decision. Although at some point you’ll have to make a final decision, the majority of college students change their major at least once throughout the course of their studies. In fact, some students change majors several times. If you discover that the major you originally chose isn’t right for you, don’t waste your time pursuing a career you won’t be happy with. Go back to the drawing board and figure out what it is that you’re truly passionate about.

There are a several things you’ll need to consider before you finalize your decision to change majors, including:

  • Don't take the decision to change majors lightly. Just because you had a bad experience in one class is not enough of a reason to change your major. Make an informed decision.
  • Consult your school’s career office or academic counselors to make sure that your decision will not cause you any unforeseen problems down the road. The professionals working in these offices have a lot of experience with helping students change majors.
  • Decide if you’ll really be happier with your new major. Try taking a few courses to make sure you truly enjoy the subject.
  • Find out if you have the grades needed to switch to the major you want. If not, you may not be permitted to change majors.
  • Find out if any of the credits you have already earned will transfer to your new major. Starting from scratch can be costly and time consuming.
  • Ensure that the career prospects are good for those graduating with a major in the subject you are interested in switching to. But don't change majors based only on potential earnings. You should study what you are interested in, not what will earn you the most money.

Once you’ve made the decision to change majors, obtain the necessary forms from the office of the registrar at your school. Be sure to submit these forms within the allotted time, or your request could be turned down.

A Major Should Open Doors, Not Close Them

Don’t worry that your choice of major will lock you in to one particular career. Your major is important for helping you find your first job after graduation, but what really matters is that you earned a degree in something. Many students find work in jobs that are completely unrelated to what they studied in college. In fact, recent studies have shown that the majority of working adults change careers several times in their lives. Ultimately, your career may have very little to do your major.

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