While most students are declaring their major by the end of their sophomore year or earlier, some students may find they do not particularly enjoy their major or original intended career path after taking courses in the subject. In this case, students may wish to switch their major, but there are pros and cons to this change.
Pro: It’s More in Line with What You Want
Some students may head into college knowing exactly what to major in and career they want out of their education, while others are leaning in towards one direction but aren’t quite sure. However, no matter which you category you fall into it, after you take the courses or take part in a job shadowing program, you may find that the major or career is nothing like you thought. This may give you pause and have you wonder if the major is really for you. Electives also give students the chance to see into a subject they’re interested in and can sometimes cause a change of heart when it comes to their declared major.
If this is the case, it is sometimes in your best interest to change your major as soon as possible. You may find halfway through college that your career goals changed, and therefore your major should change with it. You shouldn’t stick with a major or career goal you are absolutely unhappy with.
Pro: You Have Time to Catch Up
The earlier you decide to switch college majors, the easier it is to catch up on your course work. Some students don’t even begin to take major related courses until their junior year, so if you know you want to change your declared major during your sophomore year, you have plenty of time to make that decision.
If you are choosing a new major that is similar to your old, it’s also possible that some of your completed courses may actually be prerequisites or electives for your new degree.
Con: You May Not Graduate on Time
Sadly, although you may discover you want to change your major in your sophomore or junior year, you might end up having to take an extra semester or two to graduate. To increase your odds of graduating in four years, you may want to consider taking summer courses or extra classes during spring or fall semesters.
Con: It May Cost More in Tuition to Switch
In addition to taking more time to graduate, switching your major may also cost you more in tuition. You will have to pay for the extra semesters, courses, or summer classes. It may also be a bigger financial burden if you had scholarships that only lasted for four years or were specific to your original major.
If you’re considering switching your major, it’s important to consider all aspects surrounding the change. It’s a big decision and not one that should be taken lightly. Make sure to talk to your academic adviser about your career goals, current major, and intentions before making the leap into your new courses and future.
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