How to Choose a Major
One of the toughest decisions college students face is choosing a major. Nobody ever said choosing a major would be easy. It takes a great deal of time and hard work to make a decision this important. Use the guide below to help organize your decision process.
One step in the exploration process is research – this step is all about gathering as much information you can. Research will help you become aware of all of your major & career options and how they connect. The activities & resources below can assist you in this step.
List of Undergraduate Majors
Print out the list of undergraduate majors and cross off the ones you know you are not interested in pursuing. If you do not know what a major is, do not cross it off!
Take pride in knowing you have accomplished something by narrowing down the list of options, even if it is only by a little bit.
Majors, Minors & More
Explore the MAJORS, MINOR & MORE webpage at UWO. This is an interactive webpage that will allow you to filter majors by types of degree or program and then directly connects you to the department website.
Use E-Bulletins to explore majors.
Look up the courses that you would be required to take for your desired major.
Read the course descriptions to see if the content of each course in the major interests you. If you like the courses, keep exploring the major. If not, move on to a different area.
What Can I Do With A Major In...?
Visit the “What Can I Do With This Major” web page and click on the BLUE – What Can I do With this Major website for a full catalog of majors.
Once you see the ENTIRE LIST of majors, click on the major of interest to find an outline of common career areas, typical employers, and strategies designed to maximize career opportunities.
Additional Links are at the bottom of each major page as well that provide more information about majors and related careers.
Check out SPARKPATH
SPARKPATH is a new exploration tool provided by Career & Professional Development. It is helping students explore meaningful career options and take ownership of your future. Access SPARKPATH HERE and use code UWOCPD.
Other Online Exploration Resources
All Allied Health Schools:
- Link: http://www.allalliedhealthschools.com/health-careers/health-science/
- Contains information on careers in the health and medical sciences.
Colleges & Careers; The Princeton Review:
- Explore major options by category – https://www.princetonreview.com/college-major-search
- Search for desired careers and learn more about ways to achieve career goals – https://www.princetonreview.com/career-search
Explore Health Careers:
- Link: www.explorehealthcareers.org
- Here you’ll find the latest health career information and tools to guide you as you prepare for a future in health care.
Majors & Careers Central; CollegeBoard.com:
- Link: http://www.collegeboard.com/csearch/majors_careers/
- See which jobs match your interest and skills by using the CAREER search tool or taking the CAREER QUIZ.
- Link: http://www.mymajors.com/
- In 15-minutes, the program will recommend your best-fit majors that match your academic achievement, aptitude, unique interests, and preferences.
Occupational Outlook Handbook:
- The Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) provides valuable assistance to help you make a decision on a future career. The OOH provides information on:
- the training and education needed
- expected job prospects
- what workers do on the job
- working conditions
- Link: https://www.onetonline.org/
- Find, search, or browse across 900+ occupations based on your goals and needs. Then use comprehensive reports to learn about requirements, characteristics, and available opportunities for your selected occupation.
Now it is time to take action and connect with someone. Connecting with someone will help with processing the information you gathered while researching. You will get the most out of these activities and resources listed below (especially talking with your academic advisor) if you have completed some research.
Talk with an Academic Advisor
Located in the Student Success Center, Suite 202, the UARC has a staff of full-time, professional academic advisors who can assist you with:
- major exploration
- goal setting
- course selection
- graduation requirements
- policies and procedures
The office is open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Call (920) 424-1268 to schedule an appointment.
Talk with Faculty in a Major of Interest
Faculty teach because they have a passion for a specific subject and they want to tell you all about it. Use this site, Academic Department Chairs to find contact information for the department chair of your major of interest. Send them and email asking to set up a time to meet and talk about their department and share information about the majors they offer.
Talk with Students Already Declared in the Major
There is a reason these students chose this particular major. Find out what it is! What do they enjoy about the major? What are they hoping to do in the future after graduation? Get the insider’s view of a potential major from your peers.
Ask a faculty member in your area of interest during your meeting with them or email the Department and ask to be connected with a current student in that major!
Connect with Career & Professional Development
Career & Professional Development is not just for Seniors! They can help you learn what career options are associated with the majors that interest you. Career & Professional Development can connect you with people in those fields for informational interviews and job shadowing experiences.
To make an appointment with a Career Advisor call (920)424-2181 or stop in the Student Success Center, Suite 125.
Take Advantage of Career Counseling
The Counseling Center, located in the Student Success Center, Suite 240, offers an array of services for deciding students including one-on-one counseling, a variety of in-depth career and self exploration and a career library which contains numerous books, computer programs and other resources students can use to collect information about thousands of careers. To make an appointment with a Career Counselor call (920) 424-2061.
Another way to explore majors is to experience them. There are many ways you can experience majors without having to change your major. Below are a list of activities that allow you to explore your areas of interest in more depth.
Take Introductory Courses
Use the Exploratory Course Options list to identify introductory courses suggested for your desired major. Be sure to check TitanWeb for course offerings!
Take Professional Counseling 201 (PC 201)
The UARC + Career & Professional Development offer PC 201 – Academic and Career Exploration. This is a 1 credit course that guides you through the exploration process. You will learn how to match personal interests and expectations with satisfying academic and career options. As well as complete exploration assessments, research academic and career alternatives, and make decisions based on timely and factual information.
Conduct an Informational Interview
Learn more about potential careers. Make a professional contact in your field. Practice your interviewing skills. Informational interviews can be rich and dynamic sources of career information.
Join a Student Club
Most majors and departments have student organizations (clubs) to join that are related to their major(s) or associated with career. Check out the Student Club Directory and find one that would be of interest. Attend a meeting and see what you think!
Participate in a Job Shadow
Connect with Career & Professional Development to help set up a job shadow experience. There are also some great options to do a virtual job shadow as well through Candid Career.
A great way to explore an area of interest would be to gain work experience in that field. There are a lot of opportunities at entry level positions to gain work experience before you graduate. Testing out a specific work environment is another option for exploring majors & careers. Take a look at the job postings on Handshake and see what sounds interesting!
If you want further information for exploring, check out this site – https://uwosh.edu/career/majors-and-careers/career-exploration/
How to Declare a Major
*To declare a major, call the UARC at (920) 424-1268 or stop by the Student Success Center – Suite 202, and a PAL will assist you!
Student Success Center, Suite 202
750 Elmwood Ave.
Oshkosh, WI 54901