During the average student’s college career, they will at some point reconsider or question their major (and minor). This is natural because earning a degree is not easy. Any major you decide on will require hard work. At a certain point, a student may even decide to change their major altogether and go in a different direction with their studies. If you are a student at Bloomsburg University wondering how to successfully make this transition, read on. Also, check out this video created by Lisa Ferguson about college majors!
Asking Yourself the Right Questions
The National Center for Education estimates that 80% of college students switch their major at some point during their undergraduate years. They also say that the average student may switch their major up to three times. This makes it seem like some students just truly cannot make up their minds. But there are plenty of reasons students might decide on many different routes to take about their career. One student cites her reason being concern for her future job prospects.
Ashley Ferstermann, a senior at Bloomsburg University, entered school as a psychology major. She decided to change her major in her sophomore year to pre-physician’s assistant.
“I just thought I had more of a chance being able to get a job after graduating without too much extra schooling,” she says.
“You really have to consider what direction you go in after you graduate. Can you just get a job right away? Or do you need to stay in school? You have to ask yourself that.”
Others pick majors they know they want, but maybe find too difficult or too demanding. Danielle Patrizi, a junior studying at West Chester University planned on becoming a nutritionist through the school’s nutrition and dietetics program. She found the science classes to be a tad difficult.
“You have to take classes like biochemistry and organic chemistry which are really hard classes. I thought they wouldn’t be too bad since I’ve taken chemistry in high school but at a college level they were extremely difficult,” she says. Students in this position need to consider the fact that not holding up the right GPA could result in them getting dismissed to leave their program.
These are all important things to consider if you are questioning your major or wondering if you are in the right program. Some students may want job security more than anything and some fields promise more of that than others. Some majors require difficult courses to be taken and not just passed, but to be passed with an A or a B as your final grade.
How to Find New Major
If you have made the decision that you need to find a new major, then it is time to research your options. Will you stay in a related field? Does your new major require you to take an entirely new set of prerequisite classes?
Bloomsburg University has a page on their school website specifically listing all majors who require permission from the chair to begin studying. Students must go the office of the registrar and ask for the necessary paperwork.
But first, students should speak to their advisors. Your advisor can assist you by informing you of what could be involved in the transition from one major to the next. Students need to consider that they may need to accumulate more credits from introduction classes that could potentially leave them in school longer than four years. If you are determined to switch, then this may not be an issue. Time is only a small price to pay for studying something you are passionate about.
Students must also note that they most likely will be given a new advisor.
After taking all of this into consideration, students can go and get the proper paperwork from the Office of the Registrar. If your major requires permission from the chairperson of the department, you will need their signature. If not, you will be automatically admitted.
After the Transition
Most students report feeling satisfied with their decision. The process can be hard to get yourself to complete, but many say that it is ultimately worth it.
“Kids are better off academically when they are studying something they want to study. It helps them work harder because it is something they want for themselves instead of just doing it to do it,” says Kristen McNally, a student advisor at Lackawanna College in Scranton, PA. She says many students are nervous about making another mistake and wanting to switch a third time, but this many switches usually occurs very early in most college careers.
Overall, the idea of choosing a field that determines the rest of your life can cause a large amount of pressure on students. But, these choices are usually not permanent. Education is for anyone at any time and many students should not be afraid to examine their choices and give themselves an honest evaluation of how they are performing in their current area of study.