Choosing a Major
Did you know...
- It's all right to be undecided. (Most students change majors at least
once during their college career.)
- People change careers (not just jobs, but career fields) on an average of
more than three times during their working years.
- Many career fields do not require a specific major. People with
specific major do not have to use them in the ways most commonly expected.
- Many college majors do not offer specific preparation for a single type
of work but can enable you to become anything you want to be.
- Choice of major is only one factor in determining your future job
prospects and career path.
- Electives or extra-curricular activities and leadership potential are
often as important as grades or majors to a prospective employer.
The relationship between college majors and career fields varies. Some fields, such as teaching
and engineering, require certification or special training, but many fields do not. The world is
full of pre-med lawyers, investment brokers with psychology degrees, and entrepreneurs who majored
Strategies for Choosing a Major
Consider These Possibilities
- READ THE CATALOG. Study the course descriptions without focusing on the course titles. Read the description and highlight any course that sounds interesting to you. Go through all the course descriptions; the classes you've highlighted are likely to cluster together, possibly under a particular discipline, such as sociology, or under a more general field, such as physical sciences. Take at least one course in the areas that interest you.
- TALK TO FACULTY / UPPERCLASS STUDENTS IN THE MAJORS THAT INTEREST YOU. What do they like most about their field? Least? What do you have in common with them? Be sure to gather information from more than a few people to get an overall feel for the major. Ask to sit in on a few upper-level classes or seminars to get an idea of the level of work that would be expected of you.
- TALK TO ALUMNI / LOCAL EMPLOYERS / COMMUNITY MEMBERS WHO WORK IN THE CAREER FIELD OR MAJORED IN THE AREA YOU ARE CONSIDERING. You'll be amazed at the range of career fields represented in a single major. Find out what they thought was helpful for their career preparation...and what wasn't. Find out what they would change if they could do it all over again. See the handout Informational Interviewing for tips on making contacts.
- CONSIDER THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR as represented in the catalog. A more complete description of the requirements appear on the Program Planning Sheet for that major, available in Academic and Career Advising, first floor, Elliot Center. WARNING: Don't let a required course you would like to avoid keep you from a major you would otherwise enjoy - meet with a faculty member/academic advisor to discuss the possibilities.
- DUAL MAJOR. Students may graduate with a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree with two majors by successfully completing all requirements for both of the majors (e.g. Bachelor of Science in Management/Spanish).
- MAJOR/MINOR COMBINATIONS. Creative combinations offer opportunities to broaden and strengthen your program of study.
- ELECTIVE CREDITS. Students may select courses that are not required for their major or minor but may support their educational objectives or career interests.
- FIELD EXPERIENCE. Students may pursue internship/cooperative education placements in their field of study to augment their academic preparation.
- INDIVIDUALIZED MAJOR. This is an interdisciplinary program designed to satisfy an individual student's educational interests or career objectives by integrating content from two or more academic disciplines. The major is designed with the help of faculty advisors and approved by the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs. For more information, including the individualized major proposal form, contact Academic & Career Advising or see Program Planning sheets online at http://www.keene.edu/aca/pps.cfm
Declaring a Major
Keene State College policy requires that you officially declare your major on a Declaration of Major form. This process may be completed at any time after your arrival at KSC, but you must complete the process by the time you have earned 60 credits. If you are having trouble choosing your major, visit Academic & Career Advising.
- Obtain a Declaration of Major form from Academic and Career Advising.
- Take the form to the department chair, or a faculty advisor in your specific major and have him/her sign the form acknowledging that he/she is now your advisor of record.
- You must sign the form acknowledging that you have selected a specific major and faculty advisor.
- Return the completed form to the Academic and Career Advising to complete the process.
You retain the right to change your major and/or advisor at any time according to College policy and procedure. Changing your major may or may not impact the completion date of your degree. Consult an advisor to determine what impact a change in major might have.
What Can I Do With a Major in ...
Program Planning Sheets