Undeclared Majors: 5 Tips for Choosing Your Path If You're Undecided
When the time comes to register for next semester's courses, working with your academic advisor can help you narrow down the seemingly endless list of options. But how do you decide which courses to take if you’re one of many students with undeclared majors?
Although it’s helpful to know your major from the start, it’s okay to be unsure—especially as a freshman. Instead of feeling anxious and rushing to make a choice, you can use this time to explore what interests you and find your calling.
Here are five tips for picking classes until you decide on a major.
1. Understand Your Academic Standing
When first registering for classes, look first to see if you’ve already earned college credit. Azusa Pacific University recognizes students’ achievements with college credit for AP and IB exam scores, allowing them to waive some courses and prerequisites.
By knowing which courses you’ve already earned credit for, you can get a head start on completing other general education requirements such as math, English, and science courses. You can take these classes during your freshman year as you learn what direction you’re most interested in pursuing. Then, you can focus on fulfilling your major’s specific requirements in subsequent years.
2. Try Classes in Different Majors
Now is a great opportunity to try out the classes that catch your interests. Specialized courses across different majors can spark your curiosity and give you experience in the major before making a final decision. Plus, almost all majors offer courses that meet general education requirements—so you can explore potential majors while staying on track to graduate.
At the same time, it’s not prudent to sign up for extra courses in areas you aren’t interested in. Instead of exploring every major, even those that don’t interest you, it’s better to fill your course load with subjects that do.
3. Reach Out to Mentors
As you get to know professors and fellow students in the courses and majors that interest you, don’t hesitate to reach out to them for a chat about their experiences in their fields. This can help you find out what drew them to that major or field and see how that aligns with your own interests.
Professors can help you understand what requirements you’ll need to graduate and pursue career opportunities, and older students can share their internship and career experiences. The campus community offers a great deal of support, so don’t hesitate to ask questions.
4. Get Outside Experience
In addition to gaining valuable insight through classes and conversations, getting involved outside of class can help you find your true calling. You can discover more about post-graduate careers by volunteering, working a part-time job or internship, or participating in professional student organizations. These opportunities can help expose you to what you can expect after graduating with different majors.
5. Discover Where to Apply Your Strengths
Like many students with undeclared majors, you may not know what to major in thanks to the endless number of career options available after graduation. It can be challenging when there are so many interests and choices available—some of which you might not even know about.
If you’re still discovering your talents and determining where they might best fit, APU can help you find your strengths. The school’s Exploring Program is designed especially for students with undeclared majors to help with mentoring, strength discovery, and major and career exploration. Through the experience, students are able to find the path that best works for them and their future goals.
It’s absolutely possible to start college without a major and still graduate with a degree. Reach out to the Academic Success Center for guidance in choosing one of 60+ majors at APU as well as for continued support throughout your time on campus.
Posted: November 2, 2021