What to do before you change your major

Switching majors at a certain point, or even several times during college, is common. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly 80 percent of students change their major in college.

Interests and passions can change. You might be exposed to new subjects or inspired by passionate, knowledgeable faculty in introductory classes.

At Oklahoma Christian University, it’s understood students can feel pressure, stress, and even anxiety when trying to find a major that’s the right fit for them. It can be a trying time, both academically and spiritually.

OC not only guides students with academic advice, but with faith-based guidance for their academic lives and careers.

If you feel called to pursue a different academic path, here’s how to approach the process of changing your major.

Research the major

Information is your friend. Learn as much as you can about the major you might pursue.

Explore the major’s curriculum through course catalogs and ask students in the major about their experiences and opinions. Get familiar with careers that are possible through the degree plan.

Remember a new major might mean additional classes and hours. This can warrant an extra semester or two depending on the major’s requirements and how far along you are in your current degree plan.

You may be at a complete loss about what you want to study, but you know your current major isn’t the path. This is a good time to use OC’s Career Services Office.

The center offers career counseling sessions and resources to help you hone in on your interests. The center’s staff will walk you through academic and career options while considering your passion and skills.

Talk it out

Before you make a mad dash to change your major, calmly explore your options and listen to insight from your mentors.

Sometimes students can feel burned out on the curriculum because of the intense focus on one subject, but it doesn’t mean it’s time to pick a new major. By speaking with advisors, it’ll be easier to decipher between burnout and disinterest.

Talk to a professor or an advisor of your current major and the major you’re considering. They’ll be able to provide advice and a clear outline of career possibilities achievable with each major. You’ll also be able to learn if the major aligns with your interests and goals.

This is also an opportunity to visit Counseling Services. The qualified counselors are willing to be soundboards for students struggling to find their place academically. Through reflection and prayer, they’ll help you find the best solution.

Arrange the details

Arrange a meeting with your current academic advisor and make sure you have all the correct information about changing your major, fully understand the requirements, and finalize any paperwork.

As soon as the change is official, make a game plan with your advisor that will help complete your new degree plan successfully.

If your major change puts you in a new school or college at the university, get involved in major-specific groups and clubs. Reach out to faculty and staff and learn about what you can do to excel in the major. This will be immensely helpful as you catch up on any course requirements and adapt to new subjects.

Still feeling uncertain about your major? It’s okay. Contact your advisor or schedule a session with Career Services or Counseling Services.