Can I Change My Major?

Can I Change My Major?

by Erik McKay
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

If this is your first year in university or college, you will have now made it through your first semester. At this point, you may be questioning if you made the right decision in regards to the major you selected. It can be a confusing time and you may find yourself asking endless questions; the chief of which will be if you can change your major.

The answer? Of course you can change your major. University is a time of change as you discover and/or reaffirm what you are interested in, what you want to study and the career path you would like to pursue following your education. Many go in looking to study politics to find themselves in the midst of a history degree by their third year, while some change faculties completely and move from an English major in their first year to a biology major in their second.

Sometimes it can be difficult and, in some instances, it may set you back and force you take a few extra credits. But it is a common occurrence in post-secondary education and you are not alone! That being said, you have to be careful when switching majors or minors as it’s a big decision.

Unless you are in a specialized program, students generally don’t have to declare their major until second year. So take advantage of your time! Many will tell you to take a variety of courses in your first year and they’re completely right. Take courses that you think may lead into your major, but don’t be afraid to take some random courses also. Roman history? Sociology? Applied chemistry? Who knows, you may just find your new passion!

Keep in mind that at some universities you will have to complete some first year pre-requisites to continue your studies in a particular field of study. So don’t forget to sign up for those first year art history seminars if that’s a subject you may want to pursue as a major, minor or just for fun.

Hopefully by your second year you’ll have a better idea of the direction you want to take your education. Though the option to switch majors is always available later in your post-secondary career, the later you wait the more backtracking you’ll have to do to catch up to your fellow students. Many who switch later potentially face losing those extra credits usually reserved for niche electives, have to take extra summer courses or, in some cases, may even have to tack an additional year or two onto their degree.

It can be more work, but sometimes that’s what it takes. This is your post-secondary education, which will hopefully shape your own outlook and your future career path. If you feel like you need to make a change – go for it! Sometimes it means a few extra classes, but if it is what you want, it’ll be worth it.

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