Researching Your Major
Obviously you want to select a major in which you can be a success. Every major will have a published curriculum. Some curriculum will be very detailed as to courses you need to take. Others will have very loose requirements. Here are some things that you should look for in a curriculum:
- Requirements to get into a major — In many cases, you will have to complete certain courses before you can move into a major. You should project how long it will take you to move into your major.
- General education requirements – Virtually every university has general education requirements. These generally consist of math/science, social science, arts and literature, history, etc. In some cases, you will need to take specific courses (e.g. calculus, psychology). In other cases, you will have a lot of choice in what you can take.
- Major requirements – Your major will have specific courses you need to take. These will form the bulk of your curriculum. For these courses, you need to look at the prerequisites. If this is the case, missing a prerequisite course can delay your graduation.
- Electives – Curricula will also have elective options. In many cases, you can use these courses to develop a specialty in your major.
- Total credit hours – You should determine the total credit hours to get your degree. Generally these will range from 120 – 128 credit hours.
- Frequency of course offerings – Many university websites will contain information on how often courses are taught. If most of your major courses are only offered once per year, this could be a problem if you get off schedule.
Finally if you are looking at several majors, you might want to look at the similarities in the majors. In many cases, you can find courses that fit both majors. You should also look at whether it’s easier to move from one major to another. If this is the case, you might be able to use courses in the more restrictive major for the less restrictive one should you change your mind on a major. .