When you first chose a college major, you might have had different interests or career goals. But our tastes and dreams change over time, and maybe you are considering switching majors. Changing your major in college can provide you with different career options better aligned with your goals and interests. This can lead to a more rewarding career path and a chance to build new skills and acquire new knowledge. Knowing more about changing your major can help you understand how to go about it and what benefits it offers.
Can You Change Majors in College?
Yes, in many cases, college students can change their majors. Some decide to do so if their interests change or they are unsatisfied with their current major. Other students might be looking for a more fulfilling career path that involves switching to another major. Understanding why you are considering changing your major can help determine if this is the right choice for your college education. However, it is important to check with your advisor to determine if you can change your major. Some departments have different admissions and transfer requirements, and financial aid could be impacted as well.
Signs You Should Switch Your Major
How can you tell if you should change your major? While general education courses may be similar across majors, if you are having trouble feeling motivated in the major-specific courses and your academic performance starts to fall, it might be time to switch majors. Changing to a new major might boost your motivation and improve your grades. You should also consider switching your major if yours no longer fits your career goals. Otherwise, you run the risk of ending up with a career that you do not want.
If you discover that your major involves heavy use of your weaknesses rather than strengths, consider changing to another major. For example, if you struggle with math, you might think about switching to a major that does not focus on math skills. You might also consider changing majors if an internship experience revealed that the day-to-day of the career you are pursuing was not what you expected, as that could indicate you need to reconsider your career goals and interests.
Steps for How to Change Your Major
How should you go about changing your major? Switching your college major is not a difficult procedure but you should have a plan before you switch majors. The following steps can help you learn more about changing your college major.
Explore Available Majors
Your first step is looking into the available majors. You might have a good idea of which major you want to switch to based on your interests and career goals. However, some college students are unsure about which major to change to. If you are in this situation, take time to explore the different majors your school offers. You might discover you have a strong interest in a specific major or that you are interested in more than one. At this point, you should seek guidance in making your decision. At Post University, our Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) can assist students in exploring careers and majors that align to their strengths.
Speak with an Academic Advisor
Talking to an academic advisor can help determine which major best suits your goals and interests. Academic advisors can provide advice and information on any majors you are considering. For example, you might talk to an advisor about switching to a health or business-related major, depending on what you want to do for a living. When speaking with an academic advisor, make sure you find out as much as possible about the major you want to switch to. If you are interested in more than one, your academic advisor can help you choose one.
Be Aware of the Requirements for a New Major
When you switch majors, you should know what the requirements are. Depending on the major you are switching to, you might need to meet a whole new set of requirements. This is usually the case if you plan to major in a completely different field, such as changing from education to health. If your new major is in the same area as your current one, you might only have a few new requirements to meet.
Enroll in Classes that Count Toward a New Major
Once you know which major you want to switch to, choose classes that count toward that major. You might have taken courses that count toward it already, so you can avoid spending extra time earning your degree. However, if you are changing to a major in a different field, you might have to start over as far as taking classes toward this new major. This might put you in a position where taking an extra semester is necessary to graduate. Not only will this require extra time, but this will also cost extra tuition money.
Benefits of Switching Majors
When you decide to change majors, this can result in some notable benefits for your education and career. Even if you have to take more time to complete your degree, a new major’s advantages can help make up for it. Here are some of the top benefits to expect if you switch college majors.
Expands Your Knowledge in a Different Area
You might have gained considerable knowledge in your current major, especially if you are in a later term. However, you might decide to expand your knowledge more with a major in a different area. For example, you might want to study marketing instead of communication, or you might want to switch from accounting to computer information systems. Whether your new major is in the same area or completely different, you will have the opportunity to gain new knowledge and develop new skills.
Allows You to Pursue Something You Are Passionate About
Your current major might be something you are interested in but not passionate about. Changing to a major in an area that excites you can help you build a more satisfying career. Instead of settling for a job, you can pursue one that aligns with your goals, interests, and passion. For example, you could switch to a career in education rather than a career in business if you want to spend time teaching others.
Gives You Renewed Motivation
You can quickly lose motivation when you do not enjoy your current major or know that it will not lead to your desired career. This can make it much harder to stay focused on your studies, leading to lower grades, missed assignments, and failed tests. Changing to a new major can encourage you to do your best in school, resulting in better academic performance overall. You should also get more enjoyment out of your classes when you switch to a major you want.
Opens the Door to New Job Opportunities
Staying in your current major might lead to numerous job opportunities, especially if it is in a field with high demand. However, quickly finding a job might not be worth it if it turns out to be a highly unfulfilling career for you. Changing to a new major can lead to new kinds of job opportunities. Depending on your career goals and interests, these new opportunities could help you build an exciting and rewarding career.
When Is It Too Late to Change Your Major?
You can usually switch your college major at any time while you are in school. However, there are some drawbacks to consider, especially if you decide to change majors later on. You might have to spend extra time in college earning your degree after switching your major. This can lead to higher college costs, such as more tuition if you need to take an extra term or two to earn your degree. Make sure you weigh potential drawbacks before you take steps to switch your college major.
If you are considering switching majors, please contact Post University to learn more about our Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD). The purpose of CCPD is to provide college students with guidance and assistance in exploring career paths related to their major. CCPD also offers other services to help students access internships or find employment, such as career workshops, interview tips, resume assistance, job searches, and more.
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