Choosing Your Major
What will you major in? The question haunts you. It keeps you up late some nights. It elicits probing parental questions. It causes anxiety at enrollment time. Are we right?
Well then... this page is intended as a starting point. First, we summarize some of the best resource areas available. We hope you'll use them. And second, we offer six general observations to help you frame the rest of your efforts, some bits of wisdom to get you thinking in the right direction. Good luck and happy hunting.
Resource Areas to Explore
First off, the classroom is extremely important. Nothing tells you quite as much about potential majors as taking classes in those areas.
Don't forget your Undergraduate Catalog. It truly is the essential book for K-State life. It shows what each major actually requires and describes the classes. It allows you to compare major options quickly. It also explains academic policies, campus regulations and the range of student services available. It even tells you when and where the faculty acquired their expertise!
Let us help. Definitely visit with your advisor. We can help you develop strategies for tapping into available resources and avenues of personal insight. We can also point you towards courses and workshops that focus on finding a direction... like EDCEP 120: Academic/Career Decisions for example. And we want to help you stay academically safe while you explore.
Beyond your advisor, many additional people at K-State are great contacts. Faculty and students can tell you tons about their fields. They have invaluable experiences that they're typically very happy to share. Offices around campus like the Academic & Career Information Center and Career & Employment Services also help many questing students.
DARS is now available through iSIS. This can be an interesting tool for seeing how courses you've already taken will fit with majors you're considering. It will show you how many credit hours and requirements remain for certain curriculums.
We've located a number of really terrific web sites under Valuable Links to Explore. These should supplement your other efforts. The Internet is really an outstanding source for information.
Question your world around you. What are people doing these days? Your keen skills of observation can be one of your most valuable resources. If you meet somebody with an interesting career or cool ideas, find out their background. Use informational interviewing to gain more insight and cultivate serendipity.
Six Tips for Choosing Majors
- Pick a major that you like. You... not your girlfriend, boyfriend, Mom, Dad, Howard Stern, Lou Dobbs, manager at Pizza Hut, coworker at Lockheed, best friend or fortune cookie. Pick a major that you like.
- Choose a major at which you excel.
- Give all contenders their due consideration and research.
- Keep a good attitude towards learning. If you are not interested in anything... obviously you won't find an appealing major.
- Picking your major is a process. Don't expect an epiphany. The answer comes in increments. Remember these four steps as one way to articulate the search:
- Relax. This decision won't limit your options after college unless you let it. People from all different majors succeed in widely varied fields. And these fields often have little connection (superficially anyway) to their major.