Selecting a major is not a one size fits all proposition. Some students enter college set on a particular major and never second guess their decision while others dabble in different fields before making a decision. Some students have their heart set on a particular major but encounter difficulty along the way and find it necessary to alter their academic path. In other words, there is no right or wrong way to come to your decision. You must select a major that is right for you.
It is important to remember that choosing a major does not mean that you are choosing a career. Musicians can go to medical school, just as historians can become business owners. The skills that you learn in a major are designed to prepare you for a lifetime of learning. The content that you learn in a major is always under revision. The goal of a major is to teach you how to think deeply and broadly about a concentrated body of knowledge, and that is one objective of a liberal arts education, regardless of your major.
Still having difficulty making a decision?
Answer these questions:
1. What are my interests?
2. What are my values?
3. What are my motivations?
4. What are my abilities?
5. What are the realities?
Your advisor can help you answer these and other questions. The Centenary College Office of Professional Discernment also helps students answer these questions with suggestions of their own.
Suggestions for choosing a major:
Identify your passions, interests, and skills
What classes did you enjoy in high school? How do you enjoy spending your free time? Do certain subjects just come naturally to you? Our interests and skills can sometimes give us clues as to which majors and career paths we might enjoy. If identifying your interests and skills seems difficult, consider scheduling an appointment with a career coach or take a self-assessment tool.
Explore career possibilities
While some majors lead to specific career paths, like engineering or accounting, many majors are associated with a wide variety of career possibilities. To learn more, browse our Learn About Careers section.
Enroll in an interesting course
A great way to explore a major is to take a course in the department. Don't have the time or credits to spare? Consider sitting in on a class that sounds interesting. If the class size is small, contact the professor for permission first.
Look at degree plans and course descriptions
Does the coursework sound exciting or uninteresting? Would you want to share what you learned in these classes with a friend?
Speak with your academic advisor
He or she can help you with important details about the major such as its degree requirements and course selection.
Talk to professors and students
Talking to professors is a great way to get information from experts in the field. Want the student perspective? Find a student currently enrolled in the major and ask to look at his or her coursework materials and ask how they decided on their path.
Once you have decided on a major(s), here are a few follow up procedures & suggestions:
- Obtain a faculty advisor in your department by contacting the department chair and/or the faculty member you wish to have serve as your advisor.
- Submit a Major Declaration/Change Advisor Form to inform the Registrar’s Office of your major and advisor choice.
- Make regular appointments with your advisor to continue to examine possibilities, obtain new information, decide on courses, and prepare your Degree Plan.
- Conduct an informational interview with a former Centenary student who graduated in your major and is working in a possible career that interests you.
- Explore & obtain a related internship as you complete the Community and Career components of your Trek requirements.
- During your summer break, obtain a summer job or volunteer in a position related to your career/major choice.
- Research careers and occupations that you discovered while you were investigating your new major.