I don’t know what my major should be!

April 30, 2012

Whether you've already been accepted to college or are still in the application process, picking a college major can be a tough decision. Though some students have an idea of what they want to study going into freshman year, many remain undecided or even change majors multiple times as undergraduates. If you're struggling to discover the right academic path for you, here are some tips to help.

Core curriculum
Different colleges may call this sort of program by a unique name, but enrolling in a core curriculum at your school can be a great way to explore different areas of study. You'll typically gain a well-rounded understanding of liberal arts programs like Humanities, Natural Science and Social Science that will help you pick a major during your sophomore or even junior year.

Explore different areas of a subject
If you have a general idea of what you want to study, such as business, engineering or science, but still can't decide on a specific major, you may want to design your own survey of courses offered by the entire department. Taking intro-level classes will give you a brief understanding of the discipline so you know where you really want to (and are able to) focus your academic energy.

Hold off on college
Though some people can afford to experiment in college - possibly staying on for another semester or two - your financial status may not give you that luxury. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average tuition at a four-year school was approximately $33,000 annually during the 2009-2010 academic year. If you really have no idea about what you want to study, consider taking a year off or going to a community college to experiment with your academics without breaking the bank.

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