Thinking about switching majors? Here’s how to decide

In high school, your teachers and guidance counselors help students choose a career path according to their skill set, their passions, and their goals. This is to ensure that when these students enter university they know what program or degree they want to do and what majors they should choose. However, once in university, new challenges and interests arise, which can impact your choice of major. Be sure that the major you choose aligns with your values, interests, knowledge, and aptitude. It’s not easy to change majors, especially during your undergraduate degree, but it’s not impossible. If you’re considering changing your major, then here are some tips to help you decide.

Thinking about switching majors? Here’s how to decide

Meeting the necessary requirements

Each program has its own different requirements, and just because you qualified for your current program it doesn’t mean that you’ll qualify for another program. Some programs are based on grades only and some require grades plus other non-academic submissions. Other such submissions could be portfolios, audio, or tape submissions. Some programs have a minimum grade requirement for you to even qualify. Be sure to find out if you qualify for the major you’re considering changing to before making your final decision.

Do your research

It’s important for you to do some research before deciding on a new program. You will need to know what this new field of study entails in order to make an informed decision. Rather have more knowledge, than not enough as this is a big decision that will affect your career path. The best way to get more information would be to talk to department heads of the relevant programs you’re interested in, academic advisers, and people at the career center. Find out if you need any other field related courses and if there are any deadlines when it comes to transferring. You might also want to find out if you will be able to transfer your credits for the current major or if you will lose them. Ideally, you want to keep them so you don’t have to study for longer in order to complete the necessary amount of credits for the new program you’ve chosen.

Thinking about switching majors? Here’s how to decide

You have to be prepared to make sacrifices

Changing majors might mean that you have to do an extra semester or two, which will have a financial impact. If that’s the case, then you have to be prepared to budget for that if you’re paying your own way. Alternatively, if your parents are helping you pay for university, then you’ll have to discuss it with them first to see if they’re prepared to pay the extra amount. If you’ve been studying for two years, be prepared to forfeit your existing major. This could mean you losing your credits for that major. You have to realize that if you switch you’ll be starting from scratch and all your previous hard work won’t count. You need to take into account that the process might be a lengthy one that will require a lot of your time filling out forms. However, in the end, if your new major is better suited for you then it would have all been worth it. You just need to be prepared to make such sacrifices.

Changing your major might result in you studying for an extra year and spending more money, but in the long run, it will benefit your future career and ultimately, the rest of your life.