Pros and Cons of Changing Your Major

changing your major

Flickr user: Autocrafts

There are many opportunities to learn from excited and knowledgeable professors on a college campus. When starting college, it can be overwhelming to pick a major because there are just so many to choose from. While it is completely normal to be an open (or undecided) major, students feel pressured to pick a major they later determine isn’t right for them. If you’re in this boat, here are a few pros and cons to consider while changing your major.


It allows exploration.

Taking introductory classes for a different major will allow you to learn about other areas of study, and can open your eyes to new passions. You’ll gain a wider perspective of the world around you, because you’ve taken classes through more than one department. Many students even change their major more than once, so while you’re exploring you may end up liking something you never thought you would.

You’ll be more satisfied.

If you’re in a funk in your current major, and thinking of trying out a different one–do it. At the very least, trying a new major will help you sort out some of your interests. Even if you decide that you do not like this new major, hey, at least you tried!


You may not graduate on time.

Depending on what major you are switching from and the one you are switching to, the requirements you need to complete in order to graduate can change. If this is the case, you might end up staying an extra semester or two to complete all of the requirements.

College might end up costing more.

If you end up needing to stay an extra semester or year, you’ll have to consider tuition and living costs for that time, beyond other daily expenses. There also might be more required supplies for your new major, which could be art supplies, lab equipment, calculators, and more.

If you’re an open major, don’t sweat it! Many colleges and universities require students to take general education courses, which range widely from science and math to communication and the arts. Taking these general education courses will most likely count towards your degree, while at the same time giving you the opportunity to feel out different potential majors. You might be surprised at what interests you!

Throughout your process of changing your major, look to your Academic Advisor for guidance. They will be able to help you understand the requirements, how credits will or won’t transfer between departments, and they will help you talk through why you are unsatisfied with your current major. You can also talk to a Career Advisor on your campus, and they might be able to point out resources available to students looking to change their majors.

While changing your major can seem scary or daunting, take a deep breath. Yes, there are pros and cons to making this change, but there are also a lot of people and resources to help you. Check out the information we have regarding majors, and begin your college search today.