Majors in College
What is the difference between priority and regular decision? Also, what are majors and minors? If I want a bachelor’s degree, does that subject have to be my major, or can it be my minor? Do colleges generally offer the same minors as majors? Should my minor be a more specific subject within my major…or at least related in some way?
Priority decision is just another name for early action or early decision. In other words, you apply to the school by an early deadline, and you hear back from them earlier than you would if you applied “regular” decision.
When you go to college, you will have at least one major—that is, an area that you specialize in (and what your degree is ultimately in). So, if you want to be a preschool teacher, you might major in early childhood education. If you want to be a fashion designer, you might major in fashion design. Whatever your major, that’s the area most of the classes you take will be in. So if you’re a government major, you may have to take at least 10 government classes (or 30 credits) to graduate.
A minor is a lot like a major, except you take fewer courses in that area—usually 4 or 5. All colleges have majors. But depending on where you go and what you major in, you may not be required to have a minor.
Usually, schools offer the same majors and minors. Your minor isn’t within your major—it’s an area separate from it. That said, students often major in something related to or helpful for their major. So if you want to be a political consultant, you might major in political science but minor in business management. Alternatively, you might minor in something totally unrelated to your major. That’s okay — the most important thing is that you choose areas you’re interested in.
What is a double major? Are there certain requirements for what you can double-major in?
A double major just means having two majors. Sound simple? Unfortunately, it’s not. You can pick just about anything you want, from chemistry and physics to biology and English. Keep in mind, however, that a double major in biology and English may take longer than a double major in chemistry and physics because the course requirements are so different. Besides picking your majors, you also need to figure out if you will get one degree (a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science, for instance), two separate degrees, or a combination degree (such as a BAS, which is a BA and a BS).
If you do choose to double-major, make your college counselor your best friend! First, meet with your counselor to find out about your school’s policies for double majors and to create a plan for your college career. Then, meet regularly with your counselor from your freshman year on to make sure you are taking all the right classes and staying on the right track. Also, communicate frequently with your major departments (if they are different). Make sure you are prepared for the amount of work and dedication it takes to double-major. Good luck!
I have a son in the 10th with an ACT score of 30 his first try. He is into gaming and wants to be a game tester/designer at a major company. My concern is that a lot of the current games have violence in them. As he was growing up, we only bought educational games or games that required advanced thought processing. He loves math and can do most of the calculations in his head, but I don’t want to discourage him on his dreams in gaming. What college degree should he look at to use both his math skills and love of games? He attends a rural county private school and is the top student in his class of only 17. Will this affect how a college accepts him? At what grade can he start dual enrollment? And does it have to be a local college for this? Thanks.
Your son could start looking at degrees in computer science or software programming–and many colleges, art schools and technology institutes have specific programs for game design. Some kinds of engineering also incorporate mathematics with gaming. If he were to be a tester, you’re right that he would probably encounter more games with violence, whereas designing a game requires focused attention to less games at one time.
I wouldn’t worry at all about the size of your son’s school. Also, I know many students who have begun dual enrollment or started attending college classes during their junior and senior years (although some choose to only take dual classes their senior year). Typically students start to get their core classes “out of the way” by taking them at their local colleges in the area, but you may also want to check into distance education through schools that are farther away (particularly if your son is interested in attending a particular college…he may want to look into beginning classes early at a preferred school if they offer him that option). It just depends on what his learning style is and what’s most cost-effective for you.
I have gone to several colleges, and every time I changed universities, they deducted credits to suit their program. I now have about 4 years of classes and no degree. How do I combine the different credits from the schools and obtain a degree without losing more time, credit hours and money?
Unfortunately, losing credits is part of the cost of transferring schools. That’s sort of the “way of the world” in this case. The best thing you can do is go talk to your adviser and ask how you can fit the credits you’ve already got into a degree program there.
The next best thing you can do is probably not to transfer again until you’ve got a legitimate degree. (You might be able to “customize” a major with, for example, an independent studies degree.) Often you can “merge” courses you’ve taken into a related major. For example, if you’ve ever taken, say, Bible courses at a private college, you can probably make those count as history, literature, or humanities courses at a public university.
Pore over the school course catalog to see if any of the courses you’ve had are in any way similar to courses listed in the catalog. You’ll have to do a little creative thinking, but like I said, lay this out before your adviser and the admissions advising office. Chances are they’ll help you if you’re straightforward (and innovative!) about your situation.
I’m currently a junior in college and I’m having trouble deciding what I want to major in. I know for certain I want to minor in French, but as for what to major in, I’m stuck. I have a few choices like culinary arts, or something where I can use my creative talents, but I’m not too sure what job(s) that would be. I’m also really good at math, and I maybe wanted to try to major in something where I could combine my love for that and creativity. I was also wondering what colleges would be good for my two desired majors.
Well, it’s pretty clear to me that you like French. Here’s my question: Why aren’t you majoring in French if you know for sure you want to study it? Maybe you could make it your major instead of a minor.
The next question is, what is it exactly about French that you love? Do you love different cultures? Do you like communicating with people who are different than you? Do you eventually hope to travel to or live in France someday? Or do you just really love French food? If you think about the reasons for why you’re certain about studying French, you may uncover the nuances of the related things you are really invested in and love (cultural studies, communication studies, travel and tourism, etc).
You also said you love math. That’s great, we could certainly use more mathematical minds! Of course you can combine that with creativity. You could certainly think about majoring in architectural design–that’s a mathematical pursuit that is also very artistic. Or you could go into something like computer animation or creative web development. If you like cooking, that’s a plus for you too…have you ever looked into food science and food engineering? You could learn how to make breakfast cereal with a degree like that!
My point is, you have plenty of options. There are more out there than you probably realize. Just do a bit of Google searching and see what strikes your fancy. Or look at a news website and see which articles catch your eye — then think about why they do (what interests you about them?).
You can do the same thing with colleges that catch your eye. A little bit of honest research will get you somewhere. I’ve started you off with a few suggestions. Take it from here, and happy investigating!
I’m a senior in high school and trying to figure out what it is that I want to study. I’m interested in many things, such as music (how genres emerge like punk, goth, industrial, etc.), art (what was going on in the artist’s mind), and photography (the concept of capturing a moment in time that will never be repeated)–just to name a few. I’m in the School for Advanced Studies program and was labeled “gifted” in the second grade. The problem is, I do not have much experience in music (except that I play the bass), art, or photography. If colleges are most likely to accept the applicants with more experience, where does that leave me, and what options do I have? And does being in SAS help me in my lack of extracurricular activities?
It sounds like you have a real appreciation for music and art history as well as the philosophies and theories that govern the creative arts. That’s a great place to start. Even if you don’t have much hands-on fine arts experience, you can certainly study something like art history, music history, sociology (the shaping of cultural groups), psychology (how our brains interact with art, music, and religion), cultural studies, or something else in the humanities. (Of course, if you do take some fine arts courses in high school or college, you might also find that you have an as-yet undiscovered talent!)
And yes, being in the School for Advanced Studies will probably help your case, but I suggest you also list your experience with bass playing as well as any other community or school activities you might have been involved in (or even part-time jobs if you’ve held those). Good luck–and congratulations on being a student who is interested in how current concepts and assumptions have come to exist. Critical thinking and the observance of history are skills desperately needed in this day and age.
I am a high school freshman, and I am currently taking Japanese as a foreign language. I enjoy the language and hope to someday become fluent. However, I’ve heard that there could be issues with college admissions recognizing certain foreign languages like Japanese. Is this true, and if it is, what is the general range of languages accepted at colleges?
Don’t worry about it. Japanese is a wonderful language to pursue fluency in, and if you want to continue it, simply apply to colleges that offer Japanese as a language option to study. In one of our magazine articles, we even interviewed a school official who talked about how essential knowing Japanese or Chinese will be to new students studying business. There are lots of Japanese programs of study out there (Google will prove me right). You might also want to see what schools offer study-abroad programs to Japan, because I’m guessing you’ll eventually want to go there and be immersed in the language.
If you also want to study something in the classics or humanities, I suppose you may want to also pursue a second European language in the future. Actually, that might be where your confusion lies, because a lot of humanities and liberal arts programs require some knowledge of a European language…but even then, that’s usually only if you want to go on to a grad school program in such a field.
Again, you should definitely pursue the language you’re most interested in. Don’t waste your time studying a language you don’t like as much as Japanese just to get into college. Colleges want students who pursue their own interests, not the interests someone else told them to pursue.
I’m a 23-year-old college sophomore, and I have NO idea what I want to do. I have had numerous jobs, and I still haven’t found something that I LOVE. I thought criminal justice was the way to go (it’s a family tradition, sort of), but the classes are too easy for me, and I get so bored that I can’t stay focused. I absolutely love literature, but I am also very interested in religious studies. But I have no idea what kind of job I could get with a degree in either of those. I definitely don’t want to teach (I don’t even like kids!). I’m so lost! Can you help?
You know, an old professor once told me that people can eventually figure out a way to create their own career pathways if they pursue their interests with creativity and determination. I would say the same for you. If you really are passionate about literature or religious studies, I really don’t think it would hurt to major in one of those. There are English-related jobs out there that you might not have known about (like the people who write the back cover summaries of books, perhaps? or the people who transcribe subtitles for DVDs?)…and there are very many jobs that require someone with great communication, writing, and editing skills that might not be English jobs, per se.
If you are at all interested in working in library science, that might be a great route to go. Otherwise, if you are interested in working with people of different cultures, you might consider merging religious studies with international studies, and find a job that works with nonprofit organizations or (for example) helps to build bridges between different diversity groups within an urban community. Or maybe you just want to be a straight-up religions scholar!
If you’re still worried about the job outlook for literature and religious studies, could there be a subject that interests you that you just don’t have experience in yet, but which could be a good fit for you? Majors such as psychology and sociology are related in many ways to the humanities and to religious studies, as they explore the human condition and the ways people think, act, and grow. One of those majors could potentially be more challenging for you as well.
I encourage you to poke around a little bit. Research interesting jobs and majors on the Internet. Peruse your nearest bookstore for ideas. Thumb through your college catalog and see which course descriptions make your pulse race a little. Several options could jump out at you. You may also want to think about what subjects or class units you really got excited about while you were in elementary, middle and high school. That could give you some clues about the specifics of what you want to study and pursue.
One more thing: These days, young adults put a lot of pressure on themselves to figure out exactly what their passion is and what they’re good at. The thing is, all of us are very complex beings. What we are passionate about can change over time…and we can be passionate about multiple things at once too. I urge you not to get stuck in the tunnel vision of thinking you have to find the perfect career for you right now. Sometimes people who succeed in a certain field don’t even discover that field until they’re middle-aged or older! There is time for you to grow in what you know about yourself and who you want to be in the future. It might take some different jobs to get there, or you might just be somebody who tries a lot of different things. (And there are negative things about every job! So don’t get caught up in thinking there is one perfect job for you that will make you completely happy.)
And, well, maybe you’ll find that you really DO want to pursue literature or religious studies–or something else–for the rest of your life. Or you might find yourself passionate about eventually settling down and having a family. Everyone’s story is different. If it takes time, it takes time. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to figure it all out now. Work hard at the jobs you have, choose a major that will allow you to be challenged, have hope about the future, and reflect on who you’re becoming as you live out your personal adventure. Best wishes.
I’ve been reading a lot about different degrees. I am going into the time in college where I must choose my specific degree, and I’m confused. I know majoring in communications is for dummies and those who really don’t want to be in college. But does that include public relations and advertising? I want to major in Advertising/Public Relations and minor in Business. Please help me and let me know what to do! I’m so confused!
I don’t know where you heard that majoring in communications is for dummies or people who don’t want to be in college! That is certainly not true at all. Communication and liberal arts-related skills are essential for careers like law, medicine, education and science. Communications is quite a challenging field, and pursuing advertising or PR is a wonderful goal. It requires a very particular skill set that an advertising/comm program could certainly help you develop – the ability to work with people, generate creative ideas, be a forward-thinker and make complicated ideas clear to other people.
And a business minor would strengthen your future career potential even more. I think you should go for it and hold your head up high … and don’t believe the lies that someone has been feeding you.
I’m currently a senior in high school at a very small school of only about 400 students. Because of the size of the school, only two foreign languages (French and Spanish) were offered. I’ve taken three years of French, but the program has been discontinued for my senior year. I plan on majoring in International Affairs in college and for this I need to become competent in at least one other language than English by the time I am ready to finish my undergraduate years. I would like to learn a language other than French while in college, but is it a bad idea to start a whole new language from scratch in college? Will colleges be able to accommodate students who have no previous experience in a language?
Yes, many students start learning new languages in college. Unless you test into a high level class, most students begin in introductory language courses at the college level. These classes will be more rigorous than a beginner level high school language class, but they’ll teach you fundamentals that you can build upon. If you’re really interested in International Relations, it’s wise to start considering what languages and cultures you’d like to study and research schools with specific programs that match those interests. Don’t forget to look into study abroad opportunities as well. Good luck!
My son is a very good athlete who will probably get a scholarship for football or baseball. As we respond to those who are recruiting him, I am trying to make certain he will attend the college that will have a major which best suits him. He loves math and it is his best subject. Lately, he has shown a great interest and love for history. What majors would best suit his interest and love for these two subjects.
Virtually any school you look at, aside from some technical schools and community colleges, will have programs for math and history. What’s more helpful is to consider career goals, and to match a major with those. What does your son think he’d like to do as a career? That’s a long-term choice that will guide his decision about a major. Is he interested in becoming a math professor? Or a historian? Perhaps he is interested in finance or business? If you can narrow down actual career interests, these will help you and your son make good decisions. The colleges websites should have web pages that discuss their various programs and majors, but most will have basic programs in business, mathematics, and history-related subjects. Good luck!
I’m a junior in college, and I’ve already changed my major eleven times. I know it sounds crazy, but I have no idea what major to choose or how to decide. I’ve been to career counselors but they don’t really get me anywhere. I really like anthropology, but I have no idea what to do with that. I also like environmental studies, but at the same time I feel like that is not the most practical major. I like writing and grammar, topics like religion and behavior, and anything involving animals or plants. I’d really appreciate any feedback!
It doesn’t sound crazy at all. It sounds like you are having trouble visualizing how to put your knowledge and skills to use. It may help to conduct a bit of career research. Since you know what skills and activities you enjoy, why not search for the career that will let you use those skills and work in the environments you like? Try to meet with your anthropology professors or your environmental studies professors and ask what careers are available in these disciplines. Perhaps there is a career center on campus that can point you toward some companies that hire graduated students with these majors. Also, you could surf sites like bls.gov for preliminary career research, which will help you find information about job growth, salaries, and other important career details. Odds are, you’ll have an easier time choosing a major if you know exactly what career you are preparing for. Good luck!
I want to become a social science high school teacher. I am majoring in psychology and want to minor in secondary education, however the school I am attending does not offer a minor in education. How can I major in psychology and still become a high school teacher without going to college for more than a bachelors degree?
You don’t necessarily need a minor or second major in education in order to become a high school teacher. The best move to make now is to research the requirements for teaching high school in your state. From there, you can determine what courses you’ll need to take before becoming a registered teacher in your state. Most states require you to serve as a teacher’s assistant for a period of time before you can be hired to teach on your own. Private high schools don’t have the same requirements for licensing and credentials, yet many private school teachers hold masters degrees in their subjects. Check out your state’s requirements before you change your major. A psychology major will be helpful to you as a teacher in any capacity, as it will help you develop empathy and understand how your students think and respond. Good luck!
Say you’re in college and you’re majoring in marine biology: Will all your required classes be made up of all the other people in your same grade and major? Do we all take classes together at the same times? Does everyone in Maine biology move as a whole for classes and labs and field trips? I know lecture halls will have a ton of people, but once the classes break off into specifics, will you only interact with students in your class and major?
Interesting question! Every school is different, so at some schools you’ll take classes with the same set of students once you enter the final year of your major. At other schools, your major may be made up of a cohort of hundreds of students. It all depends on the size and setup of the college. If you’re interested in studying alongside the same group of students, some schools offer freshman learning centers or residential colleges where students can opt to join a cohort of others with the same major, extracurricular activities or interests and study alongside those in the group. You’ll have to research the websites of the schools you’re considering to find out of these options are available. If you don’t take that route, class sizes will vary among schools and courses, and you should expect to see new faces in just about every new class you take. Most college courses are not confined to only one class level, so there may be sophomores in some of your freshman classes and freshmen in some of your junior classes. Everyone designs their schedules differently based on what’s available. Good luck!
I am interested in math, architecture and photography. What college majors should I be looking for?
Sometimes, when your interests are varied, the best thing to do is to determine what potential careers you’d like to have and then research the degrees required or commonly held for those professions. This will help guide you toward a field of study. For example, if you want to become an architect, you’ll need an architectural or building science degree. However, if you’d like to be a studio photographer, you don’t necessarily need a photography degree, but you do need tactical experience and a portfolio. Therefore, photography classes would certainly be necessary. Don’t rule out double majors, such as business and photography or marketing and photography which can help you bridge two very important skills into a career. The sky is the limit but it all starts with research. Good luck!
I’m a junior in college, and my major is physical therapy. For the past few months I have noticed that physical therapy is not what I like. It feels like science is not my favorite subject anymore. I’m a outgoing person, active, like to help people, like to put things together, and can’t sit in the same place for awhile. I was thinking about switching my major to management or something around that field. I’m confused. Can you please suggest a few things?
Great question. I’m sorry you’re feeling uncertain about your major, but before you switch paths completely, consider just a few things. First, burnout is completely normal with any college major, career, or long-term goal. Everyone goes through phases where they feel unhappy about their career path. But, this kind of burnout is often caused by routine or disillusionment with the learning curves we face. Before you make a big decision, consider what other factors might be influencing your feelings. Are you growing apprehensive about nearing the end of your college term? Most students become a bit anxious about the transition away from school and into the workforce. This can cause you to react by turning around and considering a new major. After all, you’re comfortable with school, and what comes after graduation is a big unknown. The driving force of your feelings and apprehension might not be physical therapy or science. Try not to throw out what you’ve done so far without thinking deeply on the subject.
Also, as you near the end of your college path, you may be taking some other electives that excite you. This is normal, because dabbling in other fields and disciplines is refreshing. Yet, try not to let physical therapy pale in comparison. Odds are, after a few years of studying management, you could feel the same way. You mentioned your need to move around, analyze, and put things together. It’s certainly normal to find something unexciting after studying it for a long period of time. But try not to give up on physical therapy just yet. It sounds like you might be experiencing a very normal junior-year burnout. This can be one of the toughest years in terms of upper level classes in your major. My final piece of advice is to sit down with an adviser in your discipline to talk about your feelings. An adviser might have some good advice, and could also talk to you about what working life is really like for a practicing physical therapist. Good luck with your decision. Try to give it some time and thought before you switch gears completely!
I am a sophomore in college and I am majored in environmental biology. I am not interested in biology or chemistry at all but my only interests include loving the outdoors, the ocean, and am very creative. The only reason I chose environmental biology is that I thought my interests might match this major. Now I am not sure, as these classes are very difficult and I don’t think I made the right decision. I don’t know what to major in, and the only thing I believe I can do is creative writing.
I’m sorry to hear that you aren’t enjoying your major. This does happen to other students, as sometimes a major looks better on the outside but involves far more in the inside that you might not have been ready for. That said, I don’t think it’s wise to believe that the only thing you can do is creative writing! That’s great if your talent lies there, but don’t pick a career path because you believe your skills are limited. Are you interested in becoming a writer? What kind? Check out your school’s English department, communications department, or other creative fields. Perhaps you’d like to explore journalism? If you do decide to become a creative writer, there are MFA programs nationwide where you can earn a graduate degree, work with other writers, and often learn to teach. My best advice is to avoid limiting yourself, and instead decide what major would allow you to best use your strengths. It wouldn’t hurt to meet with your adviser and even a career counselor on campus. Good luck!
Do I need to know what I want to study before I enroll in college? I know I want a college degree, but I have no idea what I want to study.
It’s perfectly normal to be unsure about what you’d like to study in college if you’re still in high school. Most colleges don’t require you to declare a major until the end of freshman year or even during the sophomore year. Almost every school requires core credits first, during your first semester, so even if you’re unsure about a major you’ll be knocking out those basic courses you need before you move on to a discipline. However, it’s never too early to start exploring careers. Take a look around the web, talk to adults with professional careers, and think about what interests you. If you know what you love to do and where your strengths lie, you can start to rule certain things out and head in the direction of a profession. For example, if you know you’re not interested in health and science, you can rule out medical school and look at what options are available for non-scientific disciplines. If you know you love the arts, peruse a college’s website to find out what programs they offer in art history, dance, music, and literature. You don’t have to “know” yet, but it’s never too early to start exploring. Good luck!
I love cooking. What majors can I choose?
It’s great that you have a passion for cooking! However, you’ll want to think carefully about whether you want to cook as a career or as a hobby. Cooking is something you can do for a lifetime, even if you take a different career path. However, becoming a professional chef, restaurant owner or catering manager requires far more than standing over the stove. My suggestion would be to explore the career field and try to ask questions about the typical day for a chef or cook. Then, decide if you want to cook for a living or just for pleasure. Do you dream of owning your own business, or do you want to work in a five-star restaurant? Do you eventually want to teach in a culinary school? The possibilities are limitless, but you’ll want to explore what these jobs are really like before you declare a major or enroll in a culinary college. If you do decide that cooking is a good career path for you, check out your local colleges and universities to see what kinds of programs they offer. Their websites are good places to start. Good luck!
I am confused about where I want to go in life. When I was in high school, I became really passionate about psychology. I loved to study the human mind and behavior. However, I just don’t see myself being an psychologist. After I started college, I changed my major to computer science. I want to work by myself and I remember taking a computer class in high school and enjoying it. I’m now scared that I will regret it. I really do not know what to do, and I feel stuck. Can you help me?
Firstly, it’s normal to have unsure feelings about your major. It sounds like in both cases, you realized that there is a difference between “studying” something and actually working in that field every day. Remember that any job is going to contain elements that you don’t enjoy. For example, even if you do love working with people one on one in a counseling role, there will still be paperwork and research to do. Likewise, even though a computer scientist may work in solitude much of the time, there will still be collaboration and meetings required. It is hard to decide what you want to study, but understand that finishing a degree in computer science doesn’t mandate what you have to do with your future. Why not sit down with a professor or two and ask them about what jobs are available in your field of study? Also, your school probably has career fairs and events designed for students who want to find out more about available jobs. The answers to your questions are likely right there on campus. Don’t be afraid to talk to your professors and ask for guidance. They’re your gurus, and they’ll probably be pleased to see you attending office hours and taking an active role in your future. Good luck!
I am very good at English, I am very creative, I love PowerPoint and film editing. I want to make a lot of money when I get older. What should I go to college for or major in?
I’m so glad to hear that you have found passions in film editing and presentation software. However, I’d advise against your thinking that a particular major in college will lead to a lot of money later in life. What’s most important is that you enjoy what you do and have a passion for it. Yes, certain majors tend to “pay” more but you’re likely to do your best if you like what you do every day.Your success in life depends on the work you put into the career you are passionate about, not the major you choose or what you think you’re good at during your high school years. That said, if you love film editing and technology, look at area schools that offer programs in film, computer science, or engineering. Talk to adults who have professional careers in the fields you described and see what they’re working days are really like. This will give you a better idea of what you want to do. But don’t be fooled into believing that a major has a big paycheck waiting at the end of it. Your education will prepare you to build a career, and that career will depend on your work ethic and determination. Good luck!
I am currently in high school and have a lot of research ahead of me as far as the college process goes. I am very interested in pursuing majors in English and journalism. I know at schools like Emory some students co-major in two fields. First, I would like to know the difference between a double major and a co-major. I am also very interested in psychology and was wondering if I could have space for an additional major in psychology on top of English and journalism. Can you help?
It sounds like you have some exciting ideas about majors! Each school has its own system of majors and programs and labels degrees in different ways, so there is no one answer to this question. I think you may be wondering if you can choose three total majors, and this is not too common as you won’t likely have time to fulfill all the requirements for three separate majors, but a minor in psychology might be an option depending on the school you choose. At some schools, disciplines are linked together into one major (such as politics, media, and economics) while other schools offer independent majors and allow students to double up. The best way to find the right program for you is to research each school individually. While triple majors are uncommon, you may be able to minor in psychology depending on the school you choose. One of the best ways to research programs is to consider what sort of career you’d like to begin with the skills and knowledge you gain from college. If you want to career in psychology, you should probably choose that as a major. However, if you’d rather pursue a career as a journalist or English teacher, studying English as your main subject sounds ideal. Check with the individual schools you’re considering to see how they handle double majors and minors — each school will be different! Good luck!
Do you think “Conflict Studies and Dispute Resolution” a good college major?
There’s no way to answer that question about any major, because a major is only “good or bad” relative to what career you’d like to pursue. A mathematics major won’t help you much if you want to pursue a career as a fine artist. So, while conflict studies sound fascinating, consider what careers you’d like to explore and decide whether this major leads you in that direction. You could explore the department’s website and find out what kinds of jobs are held by graduates with this major. Good luck!
I want to go to college, but I don’t know what to major in. I love helping people. What are some good choices?
The good news is that usually you don’t have to pick a major right away! Most schools allow you to choose your major after your first semester, so you can get a feel for what’s available and expose yourself to interesting subjects. There are plenty of career paths involving helping people, from medical fields to law to teaching and consulting. In fact, I can’t quite think of any college major that doesn’t lead toward helping society in some way, from computer software design to sports medicine. But, if you desire a job where you’re working one-on-one with people every day, you might look into physical therapy, teaching, communications, nursing, psychology, or counseling. These are just a few ideas, but I’m willing to bet that something will attract your interest during your first semester. Good luck preparing to apply!
I’m a senior in high school and I want a career in baking and pastry arts. I go to a vocational school for baking. I would LOVE to own my own bakery, but with this economy I’m not sure I would make it. If I chose to do so, should I go to college for pastry arts or business? Or is it possible to go for both? I’m very confused on what I should do, and being a senior, my time is running out.
Congratulations on having such a clear goal set. You’re right that there is always a certain amount of risk involved in starting your own business. But, it’s your dream to do so, you’ll want to gain all the knowledge you can to make sure you have the best shot of success. Because you’re already taking culinary classes, studying the business side of things seems like a good plan. If you pursue a business degree, you’ll learn about management practices, finances, market research, and a whole lot of other things you can bring back to the success of your bakery. Understanding accounting principles will also help you. I would suggest studying business, if a college degree is a definite goal. You can still pursue baking and pastry arts classes, but you’ll learn a wealth of information that will help you succeed as a business owner. Good luck!
If I want to become a news/broadcast reporter, can I major in sociology? If not, what should I major in? If yes, what would be some appropriate classes to take?
There is no law that says that you have to major in the exact field you want to pursue as a career. However, gaining experience and contacts in that field will be crucial to landing a job in broadcasting, and the most competitive students will graduate with an internship or two under their belt. You’re more likely to have access to internships if you major in communications, journalism, or a related field. Could you consider minoring in sociology? See if your school has a journalism or communications major, and see if the program has classes directly related to broadcast journalism. Good luck with your research!
Can I earn a degree without having to take core classes?
Typically, the answer is no. Most students are required to take a core curriculum, regardless of the technical or liberal arts nature of the program. For example, in a nursing technical school, fundamental courses such as math and writing and still required. This is because most jobs will require both fundamental knowledge and technical knowledge. One exception would be to test out of those core classes, and some programs offer an opportunity to take placement tests for students who wish to skip ahead to more advanced classes. These opportunities differ from school to school, so a visit to the admissions office will help you find an adviser who can help you understand what is required. Good luck!
Does picking a major when you apply create a better chance of getting accepted?
This is a great question, and many students may wonder the same. The answer is no, however. Choosing a major won’t help or hurt you, so please don’t be inclined to choose a major you’re not certain about for fear that the alternative will make you seem uncommitted. Colleges certainly do not want a students to limit opportunities to a certain major in hopes for a better chance of admittance, especially when choosing a major is not required in the application phase. Only choose a major if you think you’ve isolated a field of study. If you haven’t, and you are eager to explore fields once you start, don’t worry about leaving your choice undecided. Most college students are undecided when they begin. Good luck!
How do I apply for a college that does not have my major just to take core classes, then transfer in the future?
I assume you are interested in that process because the first university is easier to get into, or more affordable, than your target school. It is certainly a potential strategy to get core classes while you are, say, living at home and attending the local university, with an eye toward an eventual transfer. The trick is that sometimes classes don’t transfer as neatly as you would hope, so you have to be very careful about assuming that strategy is fool-proof.
As for applying the process would be the same as for any school, you would just indicate an undeclared major. If it’s a school that prefers you specify you can either choose a major that is close to your intended major (say, general business if your eventual goal is sports business and the school doesn’t offer it), or a liberal arts choice that would give you a strong selection of general education classes.
If you are relatively sure what school you eventually intend to transfer to, you might start a dialogue with them about the transfer process just so you are clear from the outset.
Good luck with your endeavors! I hope both schools work to your satisfaction!