How do I choose a major?
What interests you? Whether you see your major as the means to a particular career or simply as an interesting plan of coursework, you will benefit most if both your major and career are satisfying. Very few careers have a single, set path that you must follow, and, conversely, any degree can lead to a variety of careers.
- Assessments: The Career Development Center offers assessments, including MyPlan and the Strong Interest Inventory, that ask you about your interests and generate lists of potential majors. If you'd like to take one of these, visit us during drop-in advising.
- Explore Majors at IU: University Division's Explore Majors at IU page provides helpful overviews of majors, related careers that IU graduates often pursue after obtaining a specific degree, and links to departmental websites for further information. Start by using the Search by Interest feature.
- ASCS Q294: Basic Career Development: This 2 credit, 8 week course is designed for freshmen and sophomores who are choosing a major or exploring career fields. Students combine self-assessment with research to find what majors and careers best suit them.
- Coursework: Try a variety of classes to explore different academic areas. Talk to your academic advisor for suggestions and visit the Career Development Center for drop-in advising.
- Talk to people: Meeting with people who know about a major of interest to you will give you first-hand information about majors and a network of campus contacts. Academic advisors, professors, students in the major, and current professionals who studied that major all could help you out.
- Information sessions: There are many special information sessions on campus. For example, University Division sponsors the "Exploring Your Options" series, which covers the basics of a variety of majors. Academic departments may also hold separate information sessions as well. Ask your department or advisor and watch the IDS and fliers for announcements.
When should I think about declaring a major?
Ideally, you should be considering majors from the time you enroll at IU. At the latest, choose a major in your sophomore year and pursue internships in order to test your long-term career options.
Many students choose new majors or change majors after their sophomore year. While you may feel pressured by the need to finish college and get on with your life, don't let this pressure keep you from testing your choice through experiential research and considering your alternatives. You have more flexibility now in college than you will later; this is the time to make sure you're on the right track.