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Choosing A College Major

Find the area of study that fits your career goals

If you’ve decided that a college education is right for you, you’ll now want to think about choosing your major. A college major is simply an area of study that you want to learn about in depth—and choosing a major will help you make sure you get the skills and knowledge you need for the career you might want. You’ll need to take a certain number of classes in that area in order to graduate.

Tips for Choosing a Major

  • Think about the career paths you might want to pursue. Some majors—like engineering or nursing—lead to very specific careers. But most college majors can lead to many different jobs—and can help you build skills valuable to any career.
  • Consider the schools you're applying to. Many colleges don't require students to choose their major right away. At large universities, which are often made up of different colleges focused on specific areas of study, you may be asked to choose the college you want to apply to—and may be competing with students seeking admission to that specific college.
  • Research available college majors. Visit the websites of the colleges you’re considering to see which majors they offer—and the requirements for each. If you’re interested in choosing more than one major, look at the college’s policy on double and “interdisciplinary” majors.
  • Leave yourself open to change. Most students put “undecided” as a major on their college applications. And the average student who starts college with a declared major changes it 3 to 5 times.
  • Don't base your decision on a future salary. Your college major doesn’t necessarily determine your salary. It’s the choice of career—what you do with your major—that makes the difference. Within each major is a wide range of career possibilities with a wide range of salaries.

Where a Liberal Arts Major Can Take You

The three examples below are only a few of the many college majors that are considered as liberal arts majors. Others include history, geography, linguistics, sociology, mathematics, religious studies, and any of the fine arts (such as painting or dance). Think of all the places you could go!

Liberal Arts Majors infographic