How to Decide on Your Major

What To Consider Before You Change Your Major
What To Consider Before You Change Your Major

According to, Choosing a major can be a daunting task, especially when it seems like everybody around you has already set their futures in stone. While your choice of major is by no means permanent, choosing the right major early on can save you a great deal of time and money.


1. Consider your passions, interests, and values.

Financial Aid
Student applying for Financial Aid

These questions are extremely important but are far too often overlooked by students. Instead, people tend to ask themselves: “What jobs can I get with this major?” “What can I do with this major?” It’s important to remember that your major isn’t necessarily a direct route to a future career. Even if you do get the job you were planning on getting your freshman year, the best way to ensure happiness and success in that job is to do something you care about. And that starts with your education.

  • When considering your passions, think beyond hobbies like sports or musical instruments. Think about the impact that you want to make on the world and the legacy you want to leave behind. Are you passionate about business? Do you want to save the environment? Are you an artist? Do you love math? Do you want to be a doctor?
  • Keep in mind that not only may your interests change over the next four years, but that technology and the economy are constantly changing. By the time you graduate, the job you were planning on getting could be obsolete, while hundreds of new jobs that never existed before may have emerged.


2. Think of your favourite subjects and classes in high school.

student in a classroom
student in a classroom

Even if you don’t know what you want to be “when you grow up,” you can still determine your skills and interests by looking back at your academic history. Consider not only which subjects you enjoyed the most, but which subjects you excelled at.

  • Which classes were the most exciting and inspiring to you? Were they science classes? Math classes? English classes? Creative classes like art or theatre?
  • Consider which classes you performed the best in. “Easy A” classes don’t count; think of challenging and comprehensive classes in which you performed well.


3. Consider job prospects, but don’t obsess over them.

10 Common Mistakes in Job Interviews
10 Common Mistakes in Job Interviews

Don’t think of choosing a major as applying for a job; think of it as choosing your life’s path. The jobs, internships, and other opportunities that open up for you as a result of following your passion come second.

On the other hand, if your passion lines up with your career plans, then choose the major that will get you there fastest. If you want to be a doctor and have always wanted to be a doctor, then consider majoring in biology.


4. Decide what type of degree you want.

Type of Degrees Available At University 2018
Type of Degrees Available At University 2018

While you may still be totally lost, you can narrow down your decision by deciding between a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Sciences (BS). Remember that the classifications for BA and BS may vary between schools, but in general, the following guidelines apply:

  • BA degrees include liberal arts and social science majors like Political Science, International Relations, English, Art History, Sociology, and Cultural Anthropology.
  • BS degrees include science and math majors like Engineering, Biology, Evolutionary Anthropology, and Economics.