Should I Change My College Major?

Changing your college major can be a stressful and significant decision. However, students often don’t know exactly what they want to study when applying to college. As they take classes and immerse themselves in their education, they might find that a different field is calling to them. When considering a change in your college major, determine if a new area of study is really the right choice for you, talk to trusted individuals, and research the financial impact this change might have. 

The decision-making process can be tough and full of uncertainty. So—keep reading to learn if you should change your college major. 

Determine whether changing your college major is truly right for you 

Take some time to self-reflect and understand why you want to change your major. To do so, you can ask yourself questions like:

  • Do you want to change your major because you’re having a difficult semester? 

  • Are you no longer interested in this field? 

  • Have you given yourself enough time to explore all of your interests and to take various classes? 

If it’s a particularly tough class that’s making you reevaluate your choice of major, do some research to see if this is what should be expected if you continue in your current major. If you’re truly not interested in the material anymore and can’t see a future for yourself in your current major, that’s a different story. This self-examination is necessary so that you don’t make any hasty decisions. 

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Seek advice from people you trust when considering a change of college major 

If you’re starting to think that you might want to change your college major, it can be helpful to talk through it with others. Your college may provide advice through your specific department or school. Start here by speaking with an advisor about credit transfers and what it would actually mean to change your major. These advisors often deal with major changes, so they’ll be able to guide you through the process. Also seek out a trusted professor or mentor to discuss your options. They might have helpful insights that can provide additional context for your decision. They can also point you to other resources to help aid in this transition. 

Do you know any students in your desired major? They can also be great to connect with and gain perspective from. They can often fill you in on classes and workload, for example. Chatting through this decision can bring clarity and help you know that you’re making the best choice for you. 

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Research the financial implications of changing your college major 

To put it frankly, college is expensive and changing your major can sometimes make it even more so. Make sure that you know exactly how changing your major will affect your credits and tuition. If you’re currently receiving financial aid, changing your major—and possibly your graduation date—could affect the status of that, so also check with that department. Research how this change would affect your individual circumstances, and make your decision accordingly. While the financial implications of switching your college major likely won’t be the deciding factor, it’s best to embark on a change of this size with all the facts laid out before you. 

[RELATED: How a College Minor Can Help Your College Major

While this change can be scary due to uncertainty and the unknown, this can also be a great moment for you in your academic journey. It’s also exciting to be in the major that feels right for you. Practicing this decision-making for yourself is a powerful tool that will serve you later in life. Take the time to understand what you need, discuss that with others, and then do the research to ensure a smooth transition.

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