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Two students walk on the University of St. Thomas - Houston campusWhen you graduate from high school and get ready to head to college, one of the most common questions you’ll hear from family and friends is: “What are you going to major in?” If you’ve already decided on a major, great!

If you don’t know what you want to major in, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Many new college students have no idea what they want to study and need guidance on how to choose a major. Many who begin with certainty about what to study end up changing their major, sometimes more than once.

College graduates are more fluid in the workplace than ever before, changing jobs and even careers frequently. One of the biggest benefits of a quality liberal arts education is a broad base of knowledge, which helps you be more flexible and pick up new skillsets quickly.

Regardless of what major you choose, a bachelor’s degree will give you a significant edge with employment and lifetime earnings.

I Have No Idea What To Major In

Students in class at the University of St. Thomas - HoustonIf you have no idea what you want to major in, consider what you’d enjoy doing as a career after college, and look at related majors. Do you have the skills to do well in this career?

Some students think choosing a major narrows their range of job options. Choosing a major doesn’t limit your options – it opens them up! Not getting your degree is what would narrow your options.

The undergraduate degree is called “The Degree of Discipline” for a reason – it’s a big commitment, and it takes a while. Getting your degree shows prospective employers you can commit and finish something significant.

If you need help deciding what to major in, call Career Services at 713-525-3160 to schedule an assessment. A counselor will help you integrate your values, interests, strengths and personality characteristics to make an optimal career decision, from choosing a major through the job search process.

University of St. Thomas grad Alex Grafton

I had no idea what to major in. I got a Liberal Arts B.A., and had no problem getting into grad school to study neuroscience.

Alex Grafton B.A. LIBERAL ARTS (THEOLOGY AND BIOLOGY), 2010 | CLERK FOR FEDERAL JUDGE

I Want To Change Majors

Two female students review notes on the University of St. Thomas - Houston campusIt’s possible you’ll discover your chosen career path and major isn’t working for you. Perhaps you’re not happy with the major or you struggle with the material because it doesn’t align with your skills.

Changing your major is not a failure!

Failure would be dropping out of college and not getting your degree.

In fact, it’s smart to redirect your time and energy to an area that inspires and excites you.

At this point, consider taking an assessment of your interests and skills. Academic Advising and Career Services can help you figure out what career path and major might work best for you.

What are your strengths? What do you enjoy doing? Answering these questions will give you an idea of what major would suit you best.

I Know What I Want To Major In

Student in lab at the University of St. Thomas - HoustonMost people who are determined to pursue a particular career from a young age have an exceptional passion for their area of interest, or are following in their parents’ footsteps. The most common career paths high school students choose are:

  • Doctor
  • Nurse
  • Lawyer
  • Engineer
  • Accountant
  • Teacher

By taking courses in a relevant major, you can confirm – or deny – that your intended career path aligns with your skills and interests. If not, Academic Advising and Career Services can help you figure out a good alternate major that's a better fit for your interests and aptitude.