4 Questions to Help You Choose Your College Major

December 08, 2015

We all have those friends who, from birth, knew exactly what they would be when they grew up. They usually spend every second of their academic career working towards that goal. But we also have those friends who will switch their major more than E! will broadcast a Kardashian wedding. Everyone is different - some have always known what to study in college, while there are plenty that need to use college to figure out what they are interested in. Luckily, there is no right way. No matter how much time it takes you to figure it out, you just need to find your way.  Here are some ideas to help you pick your major.

What was your favorite class in high school? If you always liked history, why not try a political science or government course your first semester? Taking an existing interest and using the broader course options available in college as a chance to explore some specific avenue of that interest is a great way to find a major.

Ask your older friends - “How did you choose?” While this is your decision, talking to your friends who are a couple years ahead of you in school is a great resource because they most likely remember exactly how they chose and what had the greatest influence on them.

What are your career aspirations? For some, a major is a stepping-stone to a career, while for others, a career goal will determine what they need to major in. However, for many careers, there are several different majors that would adequately prepare you. Speak to your career office at your school for advice on what students have done in the past for your specific career path. For example, if you want to go into consulting, majors in Economics, Government, Math, Business or Engineering would all be sufficient, depending on what type of consulting you want to go into. The “real world” is not as cut and dry as you may be use to as a student.

Do you have to pick one right now? Schools vary on the deadline to “declare”, so find out when you need to declare a major in order to stay on track for graduation. If you have time, there is no need to declare the first day your arrive on campus. Make sure you are taking courses that at least count towards distribution or general requirements to stay on track for graduation, but use the first and/or second semesters to try out a few different types of courses and professors. Being successful in college usually means being happy with what you are studying (at least most of the time), so really take the time to figure out what you are passionate about.

College students - sign up now and browse our database to view similar students and see what they decided to major in. If you’re applying to college, search through thousands of accepted students to see where you stack up. View essays, stats, and advice from students who go into your dream school, and find out how you can too.



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HarvardCowboy
Harvard ‘22


Accepted to Harvard, CalTech, Duke, WashU, UVA, VA Tech, UToronto, Alabama

Advice more down-to-earth than my profile pic.
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Northwestern ‘24


Accepted to Northwestern, Dartmouth, UC Berkeley, UChicago, Rice, UMich, USC

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Stanford ‘20


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I am a Frosh at Stanford studying studying engineering (computer science or other types) with a (possible) minor in the humanities. Go Trees!!!
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Princeton ‘19


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As a part of Princeton Class of 2019, I know how difficult the application process is...I got denied, accepted, and wait-listed to several places. Let me help you find your path to success!

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