Questions to Ask Yourself Before Switching Majors

Ask yourself these questions before switching majors

Flickr user Michael Coghlan

Recent studies indicate at least half of all college students will change their major at some point during their enrollment period. While this is not entirely surprising, switching majors does come with a price. If it delays your graduation, you will have to bear the cost of the additional months of college tuition. Delaying your graduation also means you will start earning even later, which translates to an even bigger loss.

Here are some things to consider before taking that plunge and changing things up.

How Many Credit Hours Do I Currently Have?

If you’re a senior, now is not the time for a major academic existential crisis. If you are a freshman, however, or even a sophomore, time may still be on your side.  You need to consider not only what you are passionate about, but what you need to do to graduate on time as well. Graduating on time can save money.

Is the Major Different From My Expectations?

One of the reasons many students change their mind is because they choose a major based on what they think they are passionate about but a few months into the program they realize that it is quite different from what they imagined. Sometimes a student’s personal values change and they now want to pursue a completely different career path.

If you really must switch, take time to find something you are truly interested in and before switching take a couple of courses to validate your new major.

Is a Specific Major Necessary for the Career I Want to Pursue?

Some job requirements are quite flexible, but there are a few that have very specific requirements. If you dream of becoming a marine biologist, you will have to pursue a very specific major. Only you can decide whether or not it is worth it.

Is It Just a Bump, or Do I Really Hate It?

Don’t let a difficult course deter you from your chosen field. Get extra tutoring or ask for help. Sometimes this really is just a bump in the road. If it really turns you off and you hate it, consider switching majors. Get advice from your advisor or a trusted instructor. They may help you get another perspective.

Should I Try a Different Approach?

Sometimes broad fields of study have varying sub-fields which fall into a similar category. See if some of your coursework can qualify for these minor changes.  Sometimes graduate school can offer more robust coursework, and this may be enough to keep you in your current field of study.

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