How to Choose Major or Minor

As an undeclared student you are in for a very positive experience. This is a time for self-exploration and assessment regarding the classes and career paths that interest you the most. Choosing a major should be fun and creative, so it is important to devote a great deal of attention and effort to the process.

Helpful Hints

  • While people have your best interest in mind and think they are helping by telling you what to do, only YOU can decide what major will make YOU happy and best fits your areas of interest. It's important to believe your inner voice that tells you whether you’ll be successful when studying in a particular field.  Your academic advisor is available to help you separate the what am I "supposed to" study to what “works best for me.”
  •  When exploring your options try these questions:
  1. What do I love learning about (different cultures, famous authors, mathematical equations, human  anatomy, finance?
  2. What type of environment do I picture myself working in? ( corporate, school, hospital, construction, museum, courtroom, lab)
  3. Where are my strengths/interests? (Meeting and talking to new people, helping people, traveling, teaching, performing , working with clients, working with the elderly, etc.)
  4. What knowledge (biology, human behavior, family dynamics, history, technology) and skills (e.g., leadership, persuasion, writing, creative, problem-solving, empathy, typing) are needed for the type of environment in which I’m interested?
  5. What or whom will help me explore and obtain this knowledge and skill (Career Development counselors, Academic Advisors, Civic Engagement opportunities, Extracurricular Activities)?

The focus should be on what you enjoy, your interests, talents, and values. Asking the questions above will make a major decision come more naturally.

  •  Sometimes we can follow one path and other times it become a revised path to match what your strengths may be. To be successful, you should like the educational journey. Use your initial coursework to uncover where your real strengths and interests lie.  
  • You may want to print a complete list of majors that WP has to offer. Cross off any major that you know for certain, that you have no interest in. This helps you eliminate 50%  of all major possibilities. Now examine the majors that are left. Are there any majors that you've never heard or do not know what they're about? If so, research them by performing a google search on the major. Also, look at the major requirements in the Undergraduate Catalog to see if the courses appeal to you. After this exercise you should be able to eliminate a few more.
  • Talk to someone about your major exploration process. Your academic advisor, faculty and academic success offices are available to assist. Your advisor can furnish you with major information and other resources, and can be a positive, encouraging force during your process.

 Some links that you may wish to explore: