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  • Major & career exploration

    Choosing a major is a process that involves several steps and requires students to take many factors into consideration. Though choosing a major can be a confusing and at times a difficult decision, students can be purposeful as they work thru the process exploring and choosing a major. The AAC has outlined some basic steps that may help you thru this process.

    Step 1:  Self-Assessment

     The first step in choosing a major is typically having an awareness of "who you are". Consider taking assessments that help you to understand your personality, interests, skills, and values.

     

    Suggestions for Self Assessment

    Step 2:  Explore

    Exploring Majors

    After learning about yourself, you should now be able to move forward to research majors and see which UW-L majors may fit you the best. The more information that you are able to gather about majors, the more likely you will be able to make an informed decision that you are comfortable with.

    Suggestions to Explore Majors

     

    Exploring Careers: Make the connections of majors to careers

    Only in a some instances, nursing and accounting for example, will a major prepare you for a specific occupation. While this can be frustrating to some students, it can have its advantages. The skills that you learn in a major may prepare you for a wide variety of jobs and opportunities found in an ever-changing job market.

    Suggestions to Explore Careers
      

    Step: 3:  Evaluate Your Choices

    After gathering information about yourself, majors, and careers, you are hopefully now in a position to narrow down your major choice to two or three options.  Create a pros and cons list for each remaining major to reduce your list further.  Ask your some of the following questions:

    • Are the required classes for the major a match with your interests, abilities, & values?
    • Are there admission requirements that may impact completion of the major?
    • What's the approximate length of time needed to complete the major & degree requirements? Will this be okay for you? 
    • Will the major allow you to pursue specific career goals that you may have identified?
    • Are there minors that might complement the major?       

    Step 4:  Take Action: Make a Decision and Implement a Plan

    After exploring your options, and the time comes that you are ready to declare a major.  Start the process by:

    • Completing a "Change of Program" form and submit it to the College/School that houses your major.
    • Make it a point to meet with your new academic advisor, once assigned, to discuss your academic goals and plans courses for the major.
    • You can also begin the process of looking at longer range goals such as career planning or graduate school
             
    Note:  Declaration of a Psychology major requires students to first complete the New Major Tutorial and then meet with the Psychology department. 

     

    Additional Information 

    Common Myths about majors

    Decision Making Strategies - University of Tennessee Career Services

    Gaining career experience during college