Choosing A College Major

In college, you are required to “major” or specialize in a specific academic area.

Most colleges require students to declare a major by the end of their sophomore year.  Until then, you’ll likely be taking “general education” courses, which are courses that every student has to complete in order to graduate.

Choosing your college major can be a stressful process.  It can be even more stressful if you wait until you step foot on campus to start thinking about your potential options.

Instead, take the pro-active approach and start the process now.  Start by asking yourself the following 3 simple questions:

What Do I Love?

In order to determine what college major would best suit you, you must first examine your interests.  What excites you?  What type of activities do you look forward to each week?  Understanding what really engages you is critically important.

If you think you want to be a accountant, but you can’t wait until pre-calculus class is over because it means that you can head straight to your creative writing class, pay attention to this.

You should choose a major that really speaks to you and that really gets you excited, regardless of the context in which it’s presented.

What Am I Good At?

What type of work do you enjoy?  What subjects do you enjoy studying in school?  What are your strengths?  What are your weaknesses?

Are you the person in Biology class that everyone always seeks out for help with their homework?  Do you always earn all-star reviews for your performance in the school musical?

Majoring in something that you have a natural inclination toward can speak to where your true interests and skills are.

What Do I Value?

What does the word “value” mean?  In simplest terms, it means…what’s important to you?

Examples of values could include the following:

  • Having a Positive Impact on Others and Society
  • Working in Teams or Group Settings
  • Autonomy, Independence, Freedom
  • Using Creativity, imagination
  • Being innovative
  • Creating/Building Things

Examine your hobbies. What are those things that you do simply for pleasure?  Maybe you volunteer regularly at your church’s soup kitchen.  Or maybe you tutor elementary school students.  Start thinking about your hobbies and consider if you would like to pursue one of these as a career.

Still having trouble? Take our College Major Quiz!


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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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