December 20, 2013

How to Choose a Major on Your College Application

Many college applications require you to declare your intended major. You're still in high school -- how could you be ready for such a decision? Here are 3 tips to keep in mind:

1. It's not permanent, nor does it have to determine the rest of your life.

A large number of students change their major multiple times between the day they submit their applications and the day they graduate. This is normal and expected. As a high school student, there's so much you have yet to explore and experience. Be open to this, and feel free to show in your essay that you are open to new ideas, experiences, challenges, and inspirations. Your first declared major may represent one of many interests that you have. You've probably heard that the average working adult changes careers 5 to 7 times. Feel free to embrace this idea and roll with it.

2. Follow your passions.

Choose a major that truly interests you. Don't worry so much about jobs or careers. Many college majors aren't designed to prepare you for one specific career; this can work in your favor. If you earn a college degree that shows you know how to think, write, research, and analyze, you can do well in many different types of careers. Such versatility can be good for you and good for your employer. Plenty of English majors go on to medical school -- or to investment banking! Just because you don't major in business or economics doesn't mean you'll live in a cardboard box the rest of your life. College is your chance to enjoy and explore different fields. Make the most of this time!

3. "Undecided" is a valid option.

Really. In fact, a majority of students will choose this option. If you have the maturity to accept that you have so much left to see and do before settling into one field, admissions officers will respect that.


  1. Great advice! The declared major doesnt really give much weight into the whether you get accepted or not, but rather a way for colleges to gather statistical data to ensure diversity in their student body. Having a intended major really doesn't mean much as so many students graduate with a major that's different from his/her intended major.

  2. Yes, indeed! Most of the upcoming freshman don't have their final decision on what major to take. Giving them options like you have mentioned, will lessen their burden.

  3. Luv this! Hate choosing, I'm interested in tons of stuff! Totally going with the "undecided" idea. Thx! :)