Major Changes, Minor Hassle

It’s one of the ultimate college dilemmas: you’ve spent a few semesters taking courses in the field you have always wanted to study when you realize …you don’t like it very much (gasp!). Suddenly, you are stuck in a state of academic limbo.

Switching majors can be scary. Is it worth the hassle? Will I fall behind? Tons of questions zoom through our heads when faced with the possibility of falling off track. However, sometimes the road to success comes with detours – changing your major just might be one of them.

Take action: Once you’ve determined that you have your heart set on switching, it’s time to take action. Sitting around feeling sorry about your plight won’t help you at all. Figure out what you’d like to change to and get started on making it happen.

Talk to an advisor: Even though your academic advisor might belong to a specific department, he or she is still a valuable resource. Explain what you’d like to switch to and ask how you should get started. See what advice or insight they can offer you and take advantage.

Find any overlaps: Even if you are missing some major-specific courses, many Gen Eds or Elective credits will carry over. Figure out which credits will still benefit you and fill in the scheduling blanks from there.

Speak with the Head of the Department: Some schools require you to meet with the head of your new department but, even if they don’t, try to schedule an appointment anyway. Learn about what will be required and see if they have any special input.

Fill out any and all paperwork on time: Most school websites list their required Change of Major forms. If you can’t find them online, speak with your advisor or a professor and find out where to get them. Fill them out fully, get any signatures, and hand them in ON TIME.

Research and plan ahead: Switching majors can cause a bump in your academic timeline. Look up future requirements and see if there is any wiggle room. Can one class fulfill two requirements? Can you fit an extra course into a semester? What about summer classes? Find out what courses require prerequisites and get started.

Most importantly, relax! Lots of students change majors so don’t stress too much. It’s your future so you need to dictate the path that works best!

Did you ever switch majors? Do you have any advice for our other readers? Post a comment!

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