23 Switching Majors in College

Alyssa Page

Majors might be a hard thing to figure out, especially if you’re just starting college. I thought that if incoming freshman had the information about majors it would make it easier on them if they wanted to switch majors or if they still haven’t declared a major yet. I interviewed two people who know about exploring and switching majors. Maybe if incoming freshman had this information, they wouldn’t feel pressured to choose a major right away. One of the people I interviewed (Via email) was Taylor Day, a freshman advisor, about ways you can switch majors. Below I will include the questions and answers.

  • 1) How Hard is it to change majors?
    1. a) Taylor Day: “It depends, the process of getting your major changed on paper is fairly simple. You can do that by emailing the Registrar’s office indicating your current major and then the new major you would like to declare. However, if you are unsure of what you would like to major in, then it can become slightly more difficult.
  • 2) “When are you allowed to change majors?”
    1. a) Taylor: “Whenever you would like. However, it is important to keep in mind that depending on when you decide to change your major it may delay graduation.”
  • 3) “Will you have to start over if you change your major as a sophomore”
    1. a) Taylor: “No, you will not have to start over if you decide to change your major as a sophomore. Most of the time the classes you take your freshman year consist of many General Education requirements.
  • 4) “Who all could help in changing your major?”
    1. a) Taylor: “Many people can help when you’re deciding to change majors, parents, siblings, family members, friends, professors, and advisors. The Office of Career Development is also a great resource.”
  • 5) “How many times can you change your major?”
    1. a) Taylor: “You can change it as many times as you would like, but it depends on how far along you are on your current major because it might delay graduation”
  • 6) “Explain the process of switching majors”
    1. a) identify your strengths, skills, interests, and career goals to decide which major will be the best fit for you. Schedule a meeting with a professor, advisor, or Career Services staff member if necessary, to talk through your options.
    2. b) Notify your advisor of the change you are wanting to make and adjust your schedule as needed.
    3. c) Notify the Registrar’s Office of the change you are wanting to make and of any schedule changes you discussed with your advisor

I also interviewed Shena Shepherd, someone who works with the ACE program, some questions about exploring majors as a freshman. Below I will list the questions and answers.

  • 1) How can freshman explore majors?
    1. a) There are several ways to explore majors.
      1. i) Meet with your advisor and ask if they can get you in touch with professors within different majors
      2. ii) Meet with career services on campus
  • iii) Meet with a member of the ACE staff, they can provide you with a career interest inventory.
  • 2) Can anyone use this service?
    1. a) Absolutely! Any UPIKE student has access to these services.
  • 3) What does the process look like for exploring majors?
    1. a) The process of exploring majors starts with your interests. I think it’s important when you are a freshman to explore the different classes. Within a liberal arts degree, students are provided with the opportunity to explore different classes within different fields such as sociology or psychology. Taking a variety of classes will give you a variety of interests. I also think job shadowing is important. Students should shadow someone within their major to see if they will really enjoy their career path.
  • 4) How can freshman access this service?
    1. a) Freshmen can access this service by meeting with their advisor, ACE staff member or contacting the Career Development office on campus.
  • 5) Is there any advice you could give an incoming freshman about majors?
    1. a) Yes, be open to new experiences. Try to find value in all your classes. Explore, explore, explore! You may be set on becoming a doctor but find out that psychology is where your heart is. Also, just because you pick a major your first semester, it doesn’t mean you are tied to it. Get involved, talk to your professors and advisors.

I didn’t get to interview any students that have changed their major. But I think knowing the process and ways to explore is better than having students explain their experiences. You don’t need to know what you want to do as soon as you go to college you just need to explore what you’re interested in. It’s one hundred percent okay if you switch majors, and it’s okay if you are undecided your freshman year.


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Switching Majors in College Copyright © by Alyssa Page is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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