College students may not change their majors as often as they change their socks, but it is a fairly common practice to change a major based on a student's uncertainties. Most students go to college not knowing what to major in, and half will change their majors once they've started, according to "The New York Times." Depending on your enrollment status, completed courses and academic interests, you might want to consider changing your major to best meet your academic and career goals.
Some students envision the perfect college major based on classes taken in high school, and they apply to universities with strong departments in that field. Recourses are available if you applied to a college with the desire to major in a particular field but have since questioned your choice. Applying to multiple colleges is normal procedure. If you have a few majors in mind but can't decide on one, take advantage of your pending status and apply to multiple schools that offer several choices in majors. You will also want to apply to colleges that offer a broad curricula so you can take lots of general classes and decide on a major after having some academic experience.
Be Financially Prepared
If you have already applied to a college, been accepted, and have started taking classes, you may be discovering new academic interests prompted from collegiate work. If you were keen on being a biologist but discovered a passion for James Joyce that swayed you to switch your major to English, you will likely have to take additional classes, as prior courses won't count toward your newly declared degree. When changing majors, it is important to be clear on the monetary framework in order to make a financially informed decision, according to "U.S. News and World Report."
General Education Courses
General education courses are required whether you want to claim a pre-med major that requires biology and anatomy classes or declare a history major that demands studying world cultures and critical writing skills. Furthermore, they can make your transition into a new major smoother. "Psychology Today" suggests universities that offer rigorous general education requirements secure reputations as institutes that will help students be successful over the course of their lives. If you plan on changing your major, take advantage of the general education classes you may already have under your belt that line up with the curriculum relevant to your new major. These courses can make the transition into your new major much easier.
Talk to an Adviser
If you applied to college with the goal to major in a particular subject, settled into your collegiate life, then decided to change your major, you should make an appointment to talk to your school's academic adviser. Students change their majors all the time; some even make the switch in their junior and senior year. Academic coaches are used to helping students navigate the seas of academia and help them declare a new major in the most cost-effective and time-friendly manner possible.
Jen Saunders is an entrepreneur and veteran journalist who covers a wide range of topics. She made the transition to writing after having spent 12 years in England where she studied and taught English literature.