Changing Your Major in Post-Secondary
We don’t all know exactly what we want to do professionally as soon as we get into university. Often times new students pick a major on a whim, or as their education goes on they either realize they are in the wrong place or they have discovered a new love for another subject they were not familiar with before. But that’s okay, because that is what university is for—growing, making mistakes and learning from them, and figuring out what you want out of life. How exactly do you change your major when you’re ready to make an academic change for your future?
Do your research & get help
Be well read on the major descriptions in your university’s general catalogue. The trick is to know exactly what you are getting into so that you can minimize stress later on in the degree. Talk with a college advisor to make sure that you are in a sound place to change your major, or to simply get educated on what changing a major means at this point in your university career. They will let you know how many credits you need, what extra classes you may need to take, and possible professors to talk to in order to facilitate the move. Speak with department advisors—they are there to help you and, as this is a big change, you need all the advice you can get to make the process smoother. Also, talk career options with your counselor. That way you can figure out what you expect of the degree and how you want it to affect your future.
Changing a major is all about talking to advisors. One major thing you want to consider is how much more money it will take to switch a major—this all depends on what year you are in and how far along in school with your courses you are. Understand the impact this major change will have on your debt status, or those who are helping you out financially (I.E. parents, sponsors, etc.). Reconsider your graduation time. If you want to graduate at the same time you originally planned, this will mean packing your semesters tighter than before and possibly adding in summer semesters.
Are you good at the major you are switching to?
Make sure that when you make this big change, it’s something you truly want. Maybe you are unhappy with the major you currently have, but will you be happy with the new one? Just be sure that you are switching for the right reasons: you have talent or passion with the new major and truly are interested/see a life for yourself in the careers that having this major can bring about.
Once you have done all of this research, thinking and seeking out advising, you can switch majors with your advisor. Oftentimes you will have to directly contact the faculty of your new major—each major will have its own process. Much of what you do will be online in your student services menu.
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