Identify What You Want
If you're not sure where to start, begin by thinking about yourself and what you want by answering the following questions:
- What courses have you most enjoyed? Why? (e.g., Professor, subject matter, etc.)
- What type of work do you enjoy? (e.g. papers vs. problem sets, abstract vs. empirical, etc.)
- What courses have you performed the best in academically?
- What qualities are you looking for? Think about class size, ease of getting to know professors, the variety of courses and off-campus programs available to you.
- Why are you considering particular majors? Do your motivations come from your interests, abilities, and values, or from other factors (e.g., family/peer pressures or internal pressure to pursue "practical" or "prestigious" majors)?
- Consider the balance you want to find among what you enjoy, what you consider your strengths, and what you believe useful in making a decision about what to major in.
- What values and principles guide your life? Will those values match the requirements and outcomes of a potential major or career?
- Do your interests, abilities, values, and motivations conflict with each other or are they in agreement? Sometimes students are interested in a major but find they do not have the abilities to handle the academic demands of the required curriculum. On the other hand, some students have considerable abilities in a particular discipline but do not have any real interest in studying that discipline. Is your choice of major a realistic one?