How to Choose a College Major: 5 Steps for Success

College students discussing majors at St John’s University Campus
By Toni Critelli

Are you embarking on your college journey and overwhelmed by the extensive list of major options? You’re not alone! Choosing a major is a significant decision that requires careful consideration.

This blog post teaches you how to choose a college major successfully. We answer common questions about choosing a major and provide five practical steps to consider.

So, what is declaring a major, and why is it so important?

Person researching marketing majors outside on their computer on the St. Johns' University Campus

Choosing a major involves determining your area of study and the specific subject or field you will concentrate on during college.

This decision shapes the courses you’ll take, the knowledge you’ll gain, and sometimes even the career opportunities you’ll have after graduation. 



Step-by-Step: How to Choose Which Major is Right for Me 

Step 1: Assess Your Interests and Strengths.

When it comes to finding the right major, it all starts with you! 

Reflect on what truly excites you and keeps you engaged. Think about your hobbies, the clubs you’ve joined, and the activities that make time fly. These passions can guide you toward a major that feels like a natural fit. 

Additionally, take a moment to recognize your strengths and talents. In which subjects do you excel? What skills come to you effortlessly? Consider taking skills assessments or talking to teachers and mentors who can shed light on your unique abilities.

Step 2: Explore Career Path Options. 

Choosing a major isn’t just about what you enjoy; it’s also about where your studies can take you. 

Research different career options related to your interests. Dive into career websites, read about real-life professionals, and even try reaching out for interviews. Learning how your major can lead to an exciting career inspires you to chase your dreams and see the broader perspective.

Step 3: Understand the Curriculum and Coursework.

Once you know your interests and future goals, it’s time for you to acquaint yourself with the nitty-gritty details. 

Visit a college or university website, like St. John’s University, to review different requirements and course offerings for each major. Understand what topics you’ll study and the skills you’ll hone. Don’t hesitate to chat with academic advisors, attend college events, and explore course catalogs to understand what lies ahead clearly.

Step 4: Assess your goals after graduation. 

Your college major isn’t just a decision for today—it’s an investment in your future. 

Consider where you want to be in a few years. Do you dream of graduate school? Professional certifications? Starting your own business?

Choose a major that aligns with your goals for the future. And remember, life is full of surprises, so explore majors that provide flexibility to adapt to changing interests and career landscapes.

Step 5: Seek Guidance and Support.

You’re not on this journey alone. Academic and career advisors are your allies throughout your journey. 

They have insights, advice, and strategies to help you make the best decision. Schedule appointments, ask questions, and tap into their expertise. Additionally, reach out to current students and alums who have walked the path you're considering. Their experiences can provide invaluable insights, helping you make an informed choice and confidently set sail toward your chosen major.

Frequently Asked Questions about College Majors

When do you declare a major? 

Typically, colleges and universities ask students to declare a major by the end of their sophomore year. This gives you a few semesters to explore different classes and fields of study before deciding. Remember, the journey of exploration is just as important as the destination.

Can you switch majors in college? 

Changing college majors is quite common and often a part of the journey. Colleges usually offer flexibility to switch majors, allowing you to pursue your evolving interests and career goals.

Remember, finding the right path for you is essential. Changing majors is a normal way to ensure your college experience matches your passions and goals.

When is it too late to change your major? 

It’s always possible to consider a change in your major. Many students reassess their path, even after starting in one major. 

Can you major in two things? 

If you are stuck between two different majors, don’t fear! Many colleges offer the option for students to pursue a path known as a double major. This allows students to explore and specialize in two different fields simultaneously. Additionally, students can explore minors or double minors along with their major for additional flexibility in exploring other areas. 

In conclusion, choosing your college major is a journey of self-discovery. By identifying your interests and strengths, you can establish a fulfilling academic and career path. Research jobs that align with your passions and explore relevant courses. Consider your postgraduation aspirations and select a major that supports those goals. Seek guidance from advisors and connect with peers who have navigated the same decision. Your major serves as a roadmap, guiding you toward success. With confidence, embrace this exciting academic adventure and embark on your learning journey.

Ready to embark on your journey toward the perfect major and career?

St. John's Pathway tool scrolling through various students interests to explore career paths.

Discover Your Path at St. John’s University.

Our exclusive Pathway tool is here to guide you every step of the way. Unleash a world of possibilities as you explore the diverse majors and career paths waiting for you at St. John’s University.

Young female professional

Toni Critelli

Digital Content Creator

Toni Critelli is a full-time staff writer for Johnnie's Blog. Through engaging content, she captures the essence of the institution, its students, faculty, and alums.