Guide to Choosing a Major

The following model can provide you a system for getting started with choosing your major. Remember: no decision is irrevocable.

Step 1: Define the Decision to be Made

The decision-making process begins with defining the decision that needs to be made or the problem that needs to be solved. In this situation, you need to choose your major.   Remember that the major you choose will not dictate your career choice – major choice and career choice are two separate decisions. 

Step 2: Know Yourself

Identify your most important interests (what you enjoy), skills (what you do well), and values (what motivates you). Discover the “real you” and what you want to achieve.

Step 3: Identify and Investigate a list of Possible Majors

Develop a list of majors that you would like to explore. Consider how your strengths, interests, and goals compare with possible majors – you will naturally gravitate towards some majors and eliminate others. The Ursinus Course Catalog and/or the College Website can help you to identify a list of options. Your first-year advisor can also be instrumental in helping you to identify options based on your interests and talents.

 Step 4:  Evaluate and Decide

Time to make a choice! Develop a system to compile, review, and evaluate the information you gathered about specific majors. See the “Major Analysis Sheet” for one possible method to help with the selection process. Choose the alternative that has the greatest probability of producing satisfying results. Be aware of and address any obstacles that may hinder your decision making ability. This may include anxiety, perceived expectations, your own thoughts, financial concerns, others’ opinions/needs, etc.

Step 5: Take Action and Re-Evaluate

Follow through on your decision. Meet with your advisor/professors to develop an academic plan. Remember that decision-making is an ongoing process.Once you have declared a major you will find yourself continually evaluating whether or not you made the best choice. As you take more classes and gain experiences you will determine if you made the best choice for you.

Major Analysis Worksheet

You can use this form to summarize your research on an academic major. Print one sheet for each major you are analyzing. Resources to help you in this research include: your UC catalog, faculty, resources in the Career and Professional Development Office, students in the major, and people working in your field of interest. Major Analysis Worksheet.

Some Myths about Choosing a Major