When you are going to college, many people like to ask, “What’s your major?” For some, the answer has been the same since the day they graduated high school, but for most, it has changed at least once throughout their college career.
Eighty percent of college students change their major at least once, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
It’s okay not to have everything figured out. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are thinking about changing your major.
- Talk to your advisor.
I know it might be intimidating talking to your advisor about changing your major when they have dedicated their lives to that topic, but that is what they are there for. Talk to your advisor and then talk to an advisor in the major you are thinking of switching to. Then, talk to a professor from a completely different department to get a neutral opinion. It never hurts to get as many different perspectives as you can.
- Do some research.
Make sure you understand what changing your major means for your future career. Will you be changing your career path altogether and move on to something you are more passionate about, or will you stay on the same career path and just change your major to something more enjoyable? The one thing you don’t want to do is to change your major to something that will not prepare you for the career you want. See if you can get as much information about your new major as possible before you make the decision to switch, maybe even opting to shadow a professional if you can.
- Think financially.
Changing your major could mean that you need to have more credit hours, which will inevitably cost you more money. Consider whether you need to spend more money to change your major and whether or not it is worth it to you. You might be able to change your major without any added financial burden, but it’s always good to be sure of your decision.
If you have gone through all of these steps and are sure you want to change your major, the next step is to officially change your major through the Office of the Registrar.
Lucy Wilson, the registrar for Mercer University’s Macon campus, said there are just a few simple steps to make the change.
How to change your major
- Get a Major/Specialization/Minor Declaration form. You can either get one from the Office of the Registrar or print one from the Registrar’s website.
- Fill out the form!
- Get the signature of your new advisor or the head of the department you are transferring to.
- Sign and date the document at the bottom of the page.
- Turn in the form to the Office of the Registrar.
Wilson said that a student does not need their old advisor’s signature to change majors, and a student will only need a dean’s signature if they are changing colleges. For example, if a student was changing from the College of Liberal Arts to the School of Engineering, they would need a dean’s signature.
“It’s good to, of course, look at the catalog and talk to the department that you are thinking of changing your major to before making the decision,” Wilson said.
It is always scary to make major life decisions, but if changing your major will benefit your future, there’s no harm in looking at your options and making the change.