2 years ago
Admissions Advice

How do I choose the right major for college?

I am a rising senior and I am interested in multiple majors but I do not know which one is the right fit for me. How do I decide on which major to choose and which one to go into? I really need to figure this out soon. This will affect many decisions. I do not want to choose something and later on, have to switch. Also, should I look at what the best jobs are for the future to see which fields are going to be doing well?


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Accepted Answer
2 years ago[edited]

There are 3 basic ways to look at this problem.

1.) Pick a career path, pick a major that best supports that career path, and pick a school that best supports that major.

(e.g. I want to be Architect. Therefore, I need to get a degree in Architecture. Therefore I need to determine which is the best Architecture school I can get into.)

2.) Pick from a few majors, pick the best schools that offer those majors, and figure out the rest when you get there.

(e.g. I want to Study Engineering or Computer Science or Neuroscience. Therefore I can apply to schools that offer all 3 and if I'm indecisive I can make adjustments later. So I'll look at Rice, Georgia Tech, and UT Austin. And I'll figure out what job to apply for later on.

3.) Pick a school based on what I like. Then Pick from the majors offered at those schools. And then pick a job when I graduate.

If you are lucky to know exactly what you want to be, you don't have to worry about majors, you just apply to the best schools that offer the major. The other 2 categories present more problems because there are many majors and even more colleges than majors.

My recommendation is that you either take some time to figure out what career path is most suitable for you or you apply to a college that has a rigorous Liberal Arts Education to build a solid foundation from which you can apply to Grad schools that you are interested in. Either way, you will get to where you are supposed be. If you to a school like Colgate, Hamilton, Claremont you can apply to Law Schol, Architecture School, Medical School, Etc because you will have a solid Liberal Arts foundation that will serve you well. If you only apply to a specialized program, it might sound great but you might not like your choice 2 years in, or 10 years in and that will mean you will have to switch focus and try something completely different.

I think I want to be an attorney but I'm not sure. So instead of applying to a pre-law program, I'm only applying to elite Liberal Arts colleges and some bigger National Universities that have a core curriculum that emulates a Liberal Arts education. If I still like Law by Junior year when I have to prep for the LSAT, I'll take the LSAT, otherwise, some other door will open.

Some people will argue that you need to know what you will be when you grow up. I will argue that College's purpose is to point you in the right direction. And Grad School is for sharpening that point.


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