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Majors: Tips for Selection

Academic Advising


Students often ask “How can I be sure I am choosing the right major?”  There is no “right” major (area of academic specialization), but rather the key is to choose a major which you will enjoy and can link to your future goals.

The best way to choose a major is to become well informed! Knowledge about the wide range of options for majors - together with a good understanding of your interests, goals and preferences - will help you pick the best major for you.

The Decision-Making Process

  • Know yourself. – What are your interests, abilities, values, motivations, and realities? For a list of specific questions to consider, see Choosing a Major [PDF]. You may also want to do some aptitude or interest tests. For more information, visit Career Planning – Getting to Know You.
  • Learn about the different majors. – What majors are available here?  See the Areas of Study (undergraduate) section of the Academic Calendar, or browse the department websites.  Make a list of majors to consider and those you definitely don’t want. Keep narrowing the list of possibilities until you have a short list to research in more detail.
  • Research your top choices. – What are the academic requirements? What can you do with a major in…..? Search the internet for ideas! See Career Ideas by Degree for some places to start. Talk to professors, contact professional associations, attend career fairs and chat with those in the field to find out more about your top choices.
    • Tip:  If you are still not quite sure, you can take introductory (1000 level) courses in several different areas to find out more about them and determine which area(s) you want to pursue.
  • Narrow it down. - Continue to gather and evaluate information on each major, and then gradually narrow down your choices to the best one (or two) for you.

Declare a Major after First Year

Students are encouraged to declare a major before registering for their 36th credit hour of course work; you must declare one before the 60th credit hour. For most programs, you will need to receive written permission from the department.

For details, see the "Degree & Major Requirements" section in the Academic Calendar. 

To declare your major(s), use the appropriate form at Forms.


Need help along the way? 

Call 204.779.UWIN (8946) to make an appointment with an Academic Advisor.