At some point in your college career, you’ll have to pick a major—a specific area of study you decide to specialize in. Common majors include English, Engineering, Business, Biology, Psychology, and Computer Science, but there are many to choose from. While picking a major isn’t quite the same thing as deciding on a career, you should consider what you want to do after college and let that inform your decision.
Some students decide what they want to major in before they even apply to college, while others wait until they’ve taken some classes to decide. Many colleges let you wait until as late as sophomore year to declare a major, so there’s no need to rush the decision.
Minors and Double Majors
In addition to a major, students often take extra courses in another subject—a minor—to broaden the scope of their knowledge. The minor may be related to the major (e.g., Computer Science and Math, or Political Science and History), or it may be something completely unrelated. Because students have to take a number of electives in addition to their core curriculum and major classes, it’s usually easy to get a minor without taking too many extra classes. If you’re really interested in a second subject, you can choose a double major, where you complete all the requirements for two separate degree programs.
For students who enter college intending to pursue professional or post-graduate degrees, there are educational track programs such as pre-med and pre-law that can provide advisement and preparation. Students in these programs still have to choose a major, and they often choose something related to their intended field, such as Biology for pre-med. Pre-professional programs such can give you an edge and ensure you have all the required prerequisites for post-graduate schools, but they are generally not required for admission.