Of all the many decisions you make in college (scheduling no classes before 10am, eating exclusively breakfast cereal for a month), picking your major is one of the most exciting and stressful. While your major is important in certain career paths more than others, it definitely will impact the rest of your college career. It’ll determine how many courses you have to take in which areas, and, in many cases, impact the rest of your schedule at least a little. But no fear! Take Magoosh’s majors quizzes to find out what major will be best for you. Then, come back to find out everything you need to answer the question: What should you major in?
First, a quick note. There are so many majors out there that we’ve grouped them into four separate quizzes: social sciences, arts, humanities, and sciences. However, you may not be sure about which area you want to major in yet! (And we get that many, many students are interested in more than one particular subject.) If that’s your case, zero in on one of the areas that interests you and take a look at your results. If they don’t feel right, or you’re still not completely sure, dive into another field that you’re interested in. Keep going until you have a sense of what you want to major in–and if you’re still wavering, read on for even more ways to decide!
How Do I Choose a College Major?
What should you major in? In true college style, we’re going to answer your question with another question: what matters to you? It’s a pretty open question, but that’s because so many factors can affect your decision. These include:
- What you’re good at: Do you want to major in an area that comes naturally to you? Or would you rather push yourself into new territory?
- What you like: Is it important to you that you love, love, love what you study (hopefully you’ll love it at least a little!). Or are other factors more important to you?
- What you want to do: Does your desired career path require a certain major? Or if you don’t know what career you want to pursue, do you think that a particular major might help you decide?
Answering these questions is just a jumping-off point. (Magoosh also has a pretty sweet infographic that can help you decide what you should major in!) Once you have a thorough idea of what you want out of a major in mind, take a look at what your college offers. Making an appointment with a guidance counselor, and then some heads of department, is a fantastic next step.
What Are All the Majors in College?
Whoa, there. How long do you have? The quickest answer to this question is: look at your college’s website. Most schools will have a list of possible majors on their undergraduate admissions website. Looking at the departmental list can also be helpful, though be warned that there may be several different paths of study offered within a single department (think English versus Comparative Literature).
A lot of students will look at these lists and use them to highlight areas that particularly interest them, but don’t worry if you’re still feeling lost. Crossing majors off is another way to help narrow your focus. This system can also help you narrow down your options if you’re trying to decide where to go to college and you’re worried they won’t have a major you’re interested in. The biggest thing to keep in mind? Not all colleges will have all majors, so if you’re dead set on becoming a forestry or marine biology major, or those are at the top of your list, take that into consideration as you choose.
What Jobs Can Art Majors Get?
Maybe you’ve taken the quizzes, hoping to answer the question, “What should I major in?”, and we’ve recommended studio art or another art major. Or maybe you’re hesitant about taking that quiz at all, despite your desires. The prospect might fill you with excitement—and possibly a little bit of dread, too.
Whether you’re wondering what you can do with an art major, or just scared you’ll have to defend it to your parents, be reassured that there are many, many opportunities available to you after college. From gallerist to graphic designer, illustrator to teacher, you’re not closing yourself off by choosing an art major—you’re opening yourself up to a big world of opportunities. (Still hesitant? Consider a double major!)
What Degree Do You Pursue?
A final consideration for a lot of students choosing their major will be what degree they want to pursue. At a lot of four-year colleges, these are limited to BA (Bachelor of Arts) and BS (Bachelor of Science), but not necessarily. You could also pursue a BFA (a Bachelor of Fine Arts), a BArch (Bachelor of Architecture), a Bachelor of Dentistry (BDS) or many, many other options, depending on what school you attend and what your major is. If there are a ton of degrees to choose from at your school in addition to a ton of majors—or even if you just don’t know where to start—thinking about your future career choices is a great starting point. What do your dream jobs require? Go from there.
A Final Word
What should you major in? It can feel like a monumental choice. By taking your talents, desires, and future plans into consideration (without forgetting your college’s offerings and limitations), you’ll be able to make a fantastic, well-informed choice. Even if you’re hesitant, take the quizzes above and use them as the basis to talk with an academic advisor at your school. Gather as much information as you can, and you’ll proudly walk away in a few years with the perfect degree for you. Good luck!
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About Rachel Kapelke-Dale
Rachel is a High School and Graduate Exams blogger at Magoosh. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University, an MA from the Université de Paris VII, and a PhD from University College London. She has taught test preparation and consulted on admissions practices for over eight years. Currently, Rachel divides her time between the US and London. Follow Rachel on Twitter, or learn more about her writing here!
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