Pick a college major that matches your interests & career goals.

Have you chosen your college major? If you know the field you will be studying, you can pick a college that matches not only your personal wants, but also your academic needs.

What is a college major?

Your college major is the primary subject you want to study and the field in which you want to find a job after graduation. This could be general (such as “communications”) or specific (like “broadcast journalism”). You must formally “declare” your major to your college or university. Ask your academic adviser about the steps to do this at your school.

How do I choose a college major?

First ask yourself: What job do you want when you graduate from college? Then find out the types of degrees and majors pursued by people who already have those jobs.

Professions that require a professional US license, however, don’t always have a corresponding undergraduate major. For example, undergraduate students who plan to become lawyers aren’t able to major in “law.” Instead, many major and earn a degree in political science before attending law school. Speak to an adviser or someone working in your field of interest if you know what kind of job you want but aren’t sure about your college major. Many students change their major in college as they develop new interests. Students from outside the US must speak with their college’s international student services office if they want to change majors.

Can I have more than one college major?

Yes! Many students have two or even three majors. Remember, however, that each major will have its own set of requirements. “Double-” or “triple-majoring” will almost always mean you must take more classes than you would for a single college major. A college minor is another option. This is often a specialization of your major and requires fewer classes. For example, you may want to work with Asian companies. Your college major could be business, and you could choose Japanese, Chinese or another language as a minor.

Why does my major matter when I choose which college to attend?

First of all, the college or university must offer your major! Large colleges have dozens of majors from which to choose, and some schools may even let you create your own major. Other colleges, however, have only a small list of majors to choose from. Also consider the program itself. Find out the requirements for your major and look at a list of course offerings. The college may also be able to tell you where past graduates in your major have been hired.

Your college major is the foundation of your future career. A major that complements your interests and career goals will not only enrich your resume for jobs and internships, but will also show potential employers that you have the background they’re seeking.