Can You Change Your Major in College? Should You Change?

Can You Change Your Major in College? Should You Change?

Before visiting the registrar, there are a few things to think about if you’re considering changing your major.

College majors can be general or specialized, common or distinctive. Furthermore, since majors largely determine the classes you’ll take and the areas in which you’ll specialize, they can have a significant impact on your future career.

But according to the National Center for Education Statistics, a third of undergraduate students who declare a major within three years of first enrolling in college end up changing it at least once.

You can determine whether you should stick with your current major or change it by using the advice, examples, and questions below.

Can You Change Your Major in College?

Yes, college students can switch their majors in many cases. Some choose to do this if their interests change or they are dissatisfied with their current major. Some students may want to change their majors in order to pursue a more rewarding career.

To decide if changing your major is the best option for your college education, it can be helpful to understand why you are thinking about doing so.

Further Reading: How Many Classes Can You Take in College?

However, it’s crucial to ask your advisor if you can switch your major before proceeding. Financial aid eligibility as well as different admissions and transfer requirements may apply to some departments.

Can You Change Your Major in College? Should You Change?

Pros and Cons of Changing Majors

Undergraduates should think about the advantages and disadvantages of changing their majors before making the decision, as well as whether their motivations are sound. When should you switch majors, and when should you stay in your current one?

Reasons to Change Your Major

  • With the aid of your new major, you can accomplish some specific professional objectives. For instance, you might decide that your current major in biology will not best serve your professional goals if you are interested in finance and major in economics instead.
  • You’re having trouble meeting the requirements for your major and worry that you won’t get your degree. There’s a good reason why STEM majors are abandoned by students more frequently than non-STEM majors.
  • Your new major offers better mentorship opportunities, internships, or other support services that will improve your college experience or help you fulfill your educational and career goals.

Reasons Not to Change Your Major

  • The new major will not impact your post-graduation goals but will mean retaking classes and borrowing more student loans.
  • You have a few credits left before you can graduate, but you’re not quite ready to leave college. Examine postbaccalaureate or graduate programs if you find it impossible to imagine ever finishing school. Your degree will only cost you more time and money if you change your major.
  • In your current major, there is a specific professor or course that you detest. There are disadvantages to every major, such as a boring prerequisite course or a professor with a bad reputation.
Can You Change Your Major in College? Should You Change?

Should You Change Your College Major?

It makes sense that some students are a little hesitant to make a firm declaration of their intended major, even before enrolling in that school, given how much depends on it. Before really getting it down, a ton of questions might arise. Suppose I don’t like it? What if I want to study something different or it’s not what I expected?

Do not worry; if it is absolutely necessary, you can switch majors. In actuality, a lot of college students change their majors. Not just “many” but a majority–a whopping 80% of college students will change their majors at least once. Therefore, if you decide to switch it up, you will most certainly not be alone.

When is the Best Time to Change Majors?

Students eventually have to make a decision, even though many schools allow some flexibility on major declarations. Students must declare by the time they have 45 credits, or roughly halfway through their sophomore year, at Murray State University in Kentucky, for instance.

There is generally no limit to how many times a student may change their major, but Brooks says San Diego State recommends students “be settled into” their major by their junior year. However, it is technically possible for students to change their majors during their junior or senior years.

Experts agree that it’s best if students can change that behavior as soon as possible. They won’t need to take additional courses because they won’t be too far along in their degree path.

“A change of major can happen at any time, but students will be advised about the pros and cons of doing so if they are thinking about it later in their college career,” Peggy Whaley, Murray State University’s director of student engagement and success, wrote in an email. “It’s possible, but it just might increase their time and expense somewhat.”

Can You Change Your Major in College? Should You Change?

How to Change Your Major in College?

How should you approach altering your major? Although changing your college major is not a difficult process, you should have a plan in place before you do so. You can learn more about changing your college major by reading the following steps.

Explore Available Majors

You should start by researching the available majors. Based on your interests and career objectives, you may have a good idea of the major you want to switch to.

On the other hand, some college students aren’t sure what major to switch to. If this describes you, spend some time looking into the various majors your university offers. You might find that you are particularly interested in one major or that you have interests in several.

You should now consult with a decision-maker for advice. Students can explore majors and careers at Post University that complement their strengths with the help of our Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD).

Speak With An Academic Advisor

Determine which major best fits your goals and interests by speaking with an academic advisor. Academic advisors can offer guidance and knowledge on any major you’re thinking about.

Depending on what you want to do for a living, you might, for instance, speak with an advisor about switching to a business or health-related major. Make sure you learn as much as you can about the new major when speaking with an academic advisor.

Your academic advisor can assist you in making a decision if there are multiple options you are interested in.

Can You Change Your Major in College? Should You Change?

Be Aware of the Requirements for a New Major

Knowing the prerequisites is important when changing your major. You might need to satisfy an entirely new set of requirements depending on the major you are switching to.

Typically, if you want to major in something completely different—say, switching from education to health—this is the case. Only a few new requirements might need to be fulfilled if your new major is in the same field as your current one.

Enroll in Classes That Count Toward a New Major

Decide on classes that count toward the major you want to switch to after you know it. It’s possible that you’ve already taken courses that count toward it, saving you time on the degree.

You may need to start over when it comes to enrolling in classes for your new major if you are switching to a major in a different subject. You might be forced to take an additional semester in order to graduate as a result of this. This will take more time than usual, and it will also cost more for tuition.

Conclusion: Change Majors

You can switch your major in college, yes. The majority of undergraduate students who eventually earn a bachelor’s degree switch their majors. In college, 10% of students change their majors multiple times. Although switching majors can lead to new career opportunities, it also lengthens the time and cost of a degree.


Can You Have More Than One Major?

A double major, or dual major, is the act of pursuing two majors, with both typically falling under the same degree. The same school or department typically grants double majors.

Is It Easy to Switch Majors at Harvard?

Regardless of the changes you wish to make, you must have a conversation with your current advisor prior to requesting a change. You must also speak with the academic administrators of both the departments you are considering and your current department.

Can You Switch Majors at Cornell?

Students at Cornell do not need to select a major until December of their second year, and that is because we want you to explore and take a variety of courses first before picking one path. Remember that students occasionally switch their majors multiple times!

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