When Should You Choose Your University Major?

Most students wait until they are already enrolled at a university to declare their major. While waiting can certainly give undecided students more time to make up their minds, a delayed decision can just as easily cause students to take classes they do not need and end up taking longer to finish their higher education — and at a great cost. You can choose your university major before you finish high school — here is how.

1. What interests you? After you finish secondary school, the decision on what classes you take at university are for you to decide. Certainly, there are core classes you must take, but your choice of major is up to you. Consider what interests you have and see what careers are available that match your desires. For instance, if you love horses, you might study to become an equine veterinarian. You just as easily could choose a career as a riding instructor, a horse trainer or as an equine nutritionist. The education levels for these careers differs greatly, so choose an education path that can help you reach your goal.

magnet2. What are your strengths? In the example of the individual that likes to work with horses, you need to assess what talents and abilities you bring to this interest. Some of your skills are innate or natural, while others are acquired. Still, if you loathe science, then working as a veterinarian or a nutritionist is not the path for you. However, if you’re accomplished rider and have a talent for instruction, you could seek training as a horse trainer or an instructor.

3. Where do you see yourself? Mostly everyone looks at their career choice as a way for attaining recognition. Recognition can come in the form of financial remuneration, group affiliation, status, helping society and other factors. Here, you may not be so clear about your desires, but you can narrow things down by taking a career assessment test. Your high school guidance counselor can help you with this. Some of the tests include the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the Keirsey Temperament Sorter and the Strong Interest Survey. Your counselor may advise more than one test to help you gauge your interests.

4. How do you see yourself? You know that you like working with horses, but do you know everything you need to know about equine management? Probably not. Here, you will want to look up university programs and read up on the various majors and courses of study available for you. While working as a trainer or as an instructor does not require a university degree, to manage a stable or farm, your administrative skills can come in handy. To qualify for certain opportunities, you may need that university degree in business administration. Find the various programs out there and study the curriculum.

5. Who are you? Considering your strengths, understanding your interests and exploring various programs of studying are very important. What overrides each area is learning more about you, your abilities and your inclinations. If you struggled while in secondary school, a rigorous university education may be beyond your reach. Moreover, if you must pursue your master’s degree or beyond to attain a certain position, do you have what it takes to study and prepare for 4, 6 or 8 years? At this point you need to consider who you are and align your desires with where you would like to go. Rule out peer pressure, family expectations and remove barriers that could keep you from moving forward. There will be challenges; learn how to overcome them to reach your goal.

6. Bringing clarity to your choice. After the five steps of self reflection, you are ready to hone in on what you want to do with your life. Once you have clarity, then you can move forward with applying to university. Find four or five universities that offer your desired program and begin narrowing your list by obtaining more information and making campus visits.  

Apply to two or three universities and make  your final decision based on university acceptance and your desire to launch your higher education at this school.

University Preparation

Not all high school students are prepared to declare a university major. If you carefully go through each step, you’ll be ready to move forward, and more likely to finish your university studies on time and within your budget.


Quintessential Careers: Choosing a College Major: How to Chart Your Ideal Path — http://www.quintcareers.com/choosing_major.html

Author Information

Paul Stephen writes from Nipissing University, which offers bachelor of business degree programs that provide both in-depth business knowledge and broad personal experiences to deliver more than just a degree. Engage one-on-one with award-winning faculty.

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