If you are a college student, you probably have asked this question at one point in your life, “can you change your major in college?” On average, 80 percent of college students change their majors. It’s no big deal because college is a time for growth and self-discovery.
High school is not enough to find your passion. It takes some life experience and mistakes to point you in the right direction. If you are interested in another major, continue reading to learn more about switching to your passion.
Am I the Only One Who Wants to Change Majors?
With so much riding on the major, it’s natural that some students are reluctant to make a firm commitment. Before you can pin it down, a slew of questions may arise:
- What if I’m not interested in it?
- What if I want to study something different?
- What if the course was not what I anticipated?
Never fear; you can change your major anytime. Many students change majors throughout their undergraduate years. Even people in their thirties change their careers in the workforce.
Undergraduate vs. Graduate: Can You Change Your Major in College?
When discussing changing majors, it’s critical to distinguish between undergraduate and graduate degrees. Most undergraduate schools encourage students to pursue their interests and change their majors if they need to.
Graduate programs, on the other hand, do not have that type of flexibility. As a graduate student, you are concentrating your efforts on a specific field. Changing majors in a graduate degree is impossible unless you are in a unique circumstance.
Why Do Students Change Their Majors in College?
There are many reasons why students may want to change their majors in college. Perhaps their interests shifted due to a delightful lesson and a desire to explore a different area of study. Maybe they want to go from a broad major, such as Engineering, to a more specialized one, like Electrical Engineering.
Maybe their present major is not quite what they anticipated. If this is the case, the student may want to change majors or pursue a degree that aligns with their interests.
What if You’re Interested in More Than One Field of Study?
If a student is interested in several areas of study, they can double major or minor in anything. A double major entails majoring in two different fields.
A college minor has fewer requirements than a major. It is frequently used to complement their major or to pursue a specialized field. For example, someone could major in business administration and minor in theater arts.
How Do You Determine the Best Major for You?
At some point in your college career, you might catch yourself asking, “which major is right for me?” To answer that question, you should examine your desired job path and consider the major’s earning potential. The ideal major for students satisfies their interests and has adequate earning potential.
According to MyMajors, there are over 1,800 available majors. With so many options, most institutions provide students about three to four semesters before settling down on a major. When selecting a major, you may examine a variety of criteria, including the following:
86 percent of individuals with bachelor’s degrees are working. By contrast, 69% of high school graduates hold employment. Choosing a degree based on your career objectives can help you join 86 percent of the workforce.
College is not cheap; if you get a degree and obtain the job of your dreams, you may quickly recover your college expenses. The appropriate major may help you earn a comfortable living in the future. Certain majors, like STEM, pay more than others.
Passions and Interests
According to an NYU study, 55% of US students see education as their primary source of stress. College may be nerve-wracking and tiring. However, by studying courses you love, you find purpose in waking up early for class.
Identify the subjects in which you excelled in high school. Based on these subjects, it will give you insights on what major to choose. This will increase your chance of getting a 4.0 GPA rather than dropping out of college.
Does Your Major Affect Your Chances of Acceptance?
The major does not affect the student’s chance of getting accepted to college. Schools are aware that students will most likely switch majors throughout their college career. However, certain majors have a greater admission rate than others.
Some schools have a restricted number of seats available for certain majors. For example, the University of California system assigns students to slots based on their chosen majors. While they may subsequently change majors, new spots are not always guaranteed.
What to Consider If You’re Changing Majors
You may discover that a new path of study appeals to you or that your professional objectives have changed. If this is the case, here are some points to consider when changing majors:
While changing your major may result in a more fulfilling experience and professional path, you should evaluate the associated costs. Changing your degree may wind up costing substantially more in tuition and other educational expenses.
If you just started college and want to transfer, you may not have to bear these extra fees. In this scenario, you won’t have to worry much about affording these additional costs.
Spending More Time in School
If you’re in your first year of college, this shouldn’t be a problem. However, if you are in your third or fourth year, you may wind up delaying your graduation by a couple of years.
Changing to an unrelated major may increase your time spent in college. If your new major is related to your existing one, your graduation date may not change at all.
Changing your major will not affect your job prospect. Employers may appreciate your determination to find your true passion and spend the time and effort to study for a new degree. However, it would help to prepare an explanation for this transition during a job interview.
Steps To Take
Investigate what you’ll need to accomplish at your current institution. Look into other schools to see if they provide a more suitable degree program for your new major.
Before you decide to change your major, research the employment prospects for your new field. You may discover that employment opportunities may be scarce because of the intense competition for few available positions. You should also determine if the future employment trend for your new major will increase, decrease, or remain stable over the next few years.
You should investigate if you can transfer credits for previous courses that may meet the criteria for your new major. Transferring previously earned credits can help you graduate on time and help you save money. This is more likely to occur if you change your major to something similar to your present one.
Can You Go Into College Without a Major?
It may seem taboo to enter college without a declared major, but it’s a wise choice. Many students see their first year of college as an exploration year. They spend time on general studies to explore different courses to see which one ignites their interest.
You may enjoy classes that you have missed in high schools, such as sociology or astronomy. These classes can be beneficial in leading you towards an exciting profession. After the first semester, selecting a major should be a priority.
How Many Times Can You Change Your Major?
Are you thinking about changing majors multiple times? The great part about college is that there’s no limit to how many times you can change majors. In fact, college students change their majors at least three times throughout their college careers.
How to Inform Your Parents That You Want to Change Majors?
The scariest part about changing major is informing your parents. They paid for everything, so they might be apprehensive about the idea. Don’t be scare; check out the following methods to help you break the ice and prepare for the discussion.
Get The Discussion Started Early
The longer you wait, the more fuel you add to the fire. Your parents may feel aggravated that you did not consider their opinions before making the decision. Don’t assume they will say “no” right away; they were once your age.
They know the process of self-discovery and understand that college is the time of change. They may feel more appreciative that you approach them first and ask for their advice.
Concentrate on Common Grounds
You and your family have one thing in common and that is for you to succeed and be happy. If they ask difficult questions, it is to ensure that you are making the right choice.
Facts Rather Than Emotions
Describe why you hated your original major. Then provide the information you’ve gathered about yourself and your choices. If you have the opportunity to meet or shadow an expert in the area, share the knowledge you have gained.
This will show them that you did not make an impulsive decision. It also educates and reassures them of your new career of interest.
Commemorate the Occasion
Let your parents know that half of all college students switch majors before graduating. This demonstrates that exploring is not only common but also good. Unfortunately, some college students choose to disregard their unhappiness, only to discover this when it is too late.
Maintain a Realistic Perspective
There is no such thing as an ideal job or academic program. Identify any drawbacks that emerged throughout your study to show that you have thoroughly researched them.
Must Read: How to Make a Big Career Change
Choose The Right Course of Action
Let’s say you discover that the job outlook for your new profession is average. Then describe the internships, jobs, and co-curricular activities you will pursue to acquire a competitive advantage.
Instill a Sense of Security
Mention that you’ll meet with an adviser to create a study plan to avoid prolonging your graduation date. This demonstrates that you have researched and prepared for the transition. Then convince your family that there will be no additional tuition costs.
Highlight what you plan to do to confirm your choice, such as obtaining a part-time job relevant to your chosen major or enrolling in an introductory class. Continue to share your plans to reassure them that you will not change your mind.
Share the websites you’ve viewed with your parents, and provide them with your school’s catalog. If you find additional information or research, share it with them as well.
Solicit Their Assistance
Reiterate your appreciation for your family’s involvement. Express your hope that they will share the same excitement.
Cultures and Opinions
Your culture and upbringing will affect your views. Some cultures emphasize individuality, while others prefer collective decision-making. Only you can decide the role and significance of others in the process.
Working Outside of Your Degree
Some programs accept students who were not enrolled in their intended majors based on their academic achievement. For example, law schools accept candidates with almost any bachelor’s degree, while medical schools have admitted students majoring in liberal arts. With a graduate degree, you may enter a more specialized profession than you might with a less specialized BA or BS.
Contrary to popular belief, most employers are unconcerned with your college degree. Most employers emphasize more on your experience. Even if a job requires a “related degree,” experience usually trumps that requirement.
Does Changing Majors Affect Your Scholarship?
Some students receive scholarships that are specific to their major. When this occurs, individuals risk losing their scholarships if they decide to change majors. They may have to return the scholarship money, depending on the conditions.
Should I Change My Major?
Are you still wondering, “can you change your major in college?” The facts about changing majors are that nothing is set in stone. Before you decide to leap into a new field, take a step back and think about it.
If you are hundred percent confident, don’t be afraid to chase after your dreams, the answer is always “yes” to changing majors. If you are still hesitant and need that little push, don’t worry, we are here to help. Check out our blog post to learn more about switching majors.