It returns: another semester and you have not yet determined your major. Don’t be embarrassed or frustrated—deciding what to study can determine your life’s path; that mean’s that it is a big decision! Still, entering college or even another semester as an undeclared student can prove to be far from reassuring for many students in this position.
While, realistically, students should declare a major as soon as possible, this is not in the cards for many individuals. Rather than feeling anxious about picking a major, these students should consider this undeclared period to be a time of self-discovery with the intent on determining the best path to take. We highly advise reviewing a list of programs and studying the requirements and skills learned for each degree.
Aside from this tip, there are several strategies students can and should follow to help pick courses before officially declaring a major:
- Discover Your Interests
Focusing on subjects that interest an individual is a great way to pick classes. If a class jumps off the course catalog page, catching one’s attention, students should enroll in it! This can help guide undeclared students in the direction they may (or may not) want to take; and, if nothing else, this is a great way to gain well-rounded personal enrichment.
- Uncover Hidden Talents
By selecting a variety of courses, students can begin to unveil talents and skills they might not have ever noticed before. After making a discovery of an interest or hidden talent, find a course or a program that matches it; this is an excellent way to sharpen one’s skills!
- Consider the Future
Students need to sit down and truly consider the requirements of a potential major; for example, students who are not interested in spending the next 4 years in and out of a science lab should absolutely steer clear of majoring in biology. Not to mention, this student might not enjoy spending each day in a lab for their entire career!
Not interested in science? Then avoid wasting time enrolling in a large number of science courses! It’s truly that simple. There are no “negative points” awarded for avoiding a particular subject after general education requirements are met—no one is keeping tabs.
Students who are still trying to determine their major should contact an FNU Academic Advisor for help, but they should also do their research. See what a potential major would be like, speak with peers studying in the program, and find out what jobs are possible with this particular degree. Next, students should figure out which jobs in the field interest them and they should visit FNU’s Job Placement office to ask about that particular career’s outlook! This will all enable the decision-making process to go over more smoothly.
Remember, a major is not a marriage—if things don’t work out, there are advisors ready and excited to help students switch majors. Doing so early on in the college process is better, though, and will result in less wasted time, energy, and money.
- Start Taking General Education Courses!
There is no need to delay the learning process. Students who have not yet chosen a major should enroll in general education classes. Of course, several upper level classes require particular prerequisites, but now is no time to try to complete those—worry about that after choosing a major!
Until then, these students should spend their semesters completing general education requirements, such as basic math, English, and science courses. These are a firm foundation to any degree, and are likely to be graduation requirements, anyway!
- Take a Class in a Particular Major
There are no negative repercussions for simply trying out a few classes within a particular major. A number of majors have beginner’s courses (i.e. Theater 101). By taking one or two specialized classes each semester or over the summer, undeclared students can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel: declaration direction.
Think of this as the equivalent of an internship: how can one know what type of job they are interested in if they have no experience in the field? When an undeclared student enrolls in a course that might interest them, they are able to learn more about the topic and get a taste of what it would be like to claim this major; this helps to determine whether or not one is interested in pursuing it.
Remember, students should declare a major, at latest, by junior year. Doing so will allow one to focus on upper level classes within a degree choice, preparing one to excel in their future career.
Florida National University: We Can Help Direct You
Come in undeclared, and leave with a degree! We understand choosing a major can be an intimidating, difficult process. However, we believe in setting up each student for success. If you are still having difficulty, be sure to contact an advisor.
If you are interested in applying to Florida National University (FNU), check out the list of our programs and apply today! Don’t know what you want to study yet? Don’t worry; you won’t need to declare your major right off the bat. We are here to help guide you through the process.