Changing Majors in School
When starting college or university, you might feel confident that you chose the right subject to study, but as you learn more, and are exposed to different ideas, you may decide that your current major isn’t quite right for you.
Before jumping into a new major, research everything you can about the program in which you are interested. Learn any academic requirements, such as grades and prerequisites, as well as any non-academic requirements such as interviews and auditions, extra-curricular activities, or portfolios of work. Learn your new program’s fulfillment requirements, and if any of your completed credits can transfer to your new major. The best way to ensure you are fully informed is to meet with your program’s academic counsellor, who can give you all the specifics.
One point to consider is where you are in your degree program. Though hopefully you will determine before your third or fourth year whether you want to pursue a career in your program, sometimes it’s only when you reach the higher and more specialized level of studies that you will realize things are not a good fit. If you are close to completing your degree, you might want to consider finishing your current course of study, before pursuing another degree or diploma in your new field. After all, education is never wasted, and you will always have any credentials you earn. It is very common for university grads to enter into a college program for a different subject later on in life, or even directly after they finish their BA.
Alternately, look at what you have already completed to see if you meet or are close to meeting the requirements for a minor through your institution. Often a minor in most fields of study will not require courses past the second or third level. This way you can still get credit for the work you have already put into your degree, even if you are no longer pursuing the full major.
If you still decide to change programs, time and money are the other two primary concerns. Make sure you know how much additional time it will take to complete a new degree. Depending on how different your programs are, and how many of your credits are transferrable, it can be an additional one, two, or even four years. Whatever the case may be, have a plan to pay for the additional years of schooling. There are a variety of grants, scholarships and loans available to students, but grants and scholarships can be difficult to attain. Student loan debt can build up with additional years of school, and require significant effort to pay off in the future. If necessary, consider taking a year off between programs in order to work and save up.
Deciding to switch majors partway through your studies is a difficult decision, with many factors to consider, but in the end if you are not satisfied with your current major, then a change is the best solution. Just remember, don’t decide to change to a new major just because it is considered “more popular” or “more employable”; rather, make sure you choose something you enjoy and are deeply interested in, and which will help you achieve your future dreams.