Is it Too Late to Change Your Major?

When it is too late to change majors? Here is a guide to navigating late-career college transitions.

Is it Too Late to Change Your Major? (Getty Images)

On college campuses, where every building echoes dreams and ambition, there exists a moment that many students fear: the realization that their major may not be the right path. 

Around one-third of students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs changed their majors at least once, according to a report by The U.S. Dept. of Education.

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As students approach the end of the semester, they debate if they should continue in their current major or pursue another for different reasons such as poor grades or it’s a competitive field of study.  

When deciding on a major switch late in your college career, there are several steps you can take to navigate this transition.

Self-Reflect Before Anything 

Reflect on your interests, strengths and long-term goals before making any drastic decisions. Identify what truly is your passion and what aligns with your aspirations. Self-awareness is key before contemplating other majors. 

Research Potential Majors 

Scout other majors that align with your interest and speak with other professors or professionals in the field. Talking to upperclassmen in those majors could also give you great insight into if it’s the right fit for you. Then, identify what skills you can transfer over to each potential major.

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Talk with Academic Advisors

For many students, this step is required to change their major. However, it is important to speak with your advisor beforehand to discuss any concerns and listen to their advice. They can provide great insight into graduation requirements, any lost or needed credit and other hurdles you may face.

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Chat with Alumni

Reach out to Alumni who successfully switched majors to the ones on your lists or pursued careers outside of their file of study. Listening to their experiences can provide great advice and stir you on the right path to your decision.

Consider Minors, Certificates or Grad School

Lastly, if switching majors seems too challenging, look into adding a minor or certification to your desired career. This allows you to gain knowledge and credentials without changing your major and potentially losing credits in the process. If you want a more extensive experience and outlook in your desired field, graduate school could be the next best step. Most graduate schools will give students some form of scholarship, so make sure to research those options. 

Kailyn Rhone, (she/her) is from Florida, but is an NYC-based journalist covering education, technology and culture. Follow her on X: @onlykailyn. 

Edited by Nykeya Woods

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