Choosing a Major as an Athlete
The unfortunate fact of being a student athlete is that your coach/athletic advisor will try to steer you to a major that is compatible with your athletic commitments. On any campus, athletes tend to be concentrated into a few majors.
The major you select should be your choice not your coach or athletic advisor. You need to be very firm on this. But like most college students you might have several majors you are considering. Should this be your case, here are some questions you might want to get answers to before you select a major.
- How flexible is the curriculum? A major that has limited prerequisites is better than one that has a string of prerequisites to take specific courses.
- Are most required courses offered each semester? You will want to take your harder courses in the semesters when you are not competing.
- Does the major require a lot of labs? Labs are hard to schedule with practice times.
- Have other athletes succeeded in the program? There may be some programs that will simply not work with athletes. In other cases, you may find a program that has an established record of working with athletes.
- Are you a good academic fit for the major? This doesn’t have as much to do with athletics as it does with your own strengths/weaknesses. For example, if you struggle with math concepts, picking a major with a heavy math emphasis will be a challenge. Being an athlete just makes this major more difficult.
The one test for all of these questions is to meet with an advisor in each of the programs you are considering and ask if they will help you develop a schedule each semester until graduation. The care and consideration you are given by the advisor should be a good indication of the type of support you will receive if you select this major.