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Levett Career Center

Choosing Your Major

Photo of student and career counselor discussing majors.Guidance in Choosing Your Major

The most important aspect of choosing a major is having genuine interest in studying the discipline. As you choose your major, follow the steps below to assess your interest in the courses required for the major.

1) Look up a major you are considering in the College Catalog:

  • Referring to the requirements listed for the discipline, select all the specific courses you would opt for to complete those requirements (including cognates),
  • Rate each selected class on a scale of 1-10 (10 highest) based on how interested you are in it,
  • Total up the ratings and divide by the number of courses to come up with an average score,
  • Repeat for each major, minor, or concentration you're considering.

This helps you to discover your feelings about the actual courses that are required for the major, rather than about a random array of elective options within it, and allows you to compare your options easily.

In addition, as you are making this decision:

2) Talk with professors in each of these majors to find out what type of perspective the professors are, in effect, professing. That is, are they putting an emphasis on observation of societal systems and diversity (e.g. sociology), on persuading others through discussion based a close analysis of texts (e.g. English), or on developing and pursuing their own research questions (e.g. psychology)? They will be teaching you to understand their way of thinking.

3) Talk with current majors about their experience of the major;

4) Get help from the Levett Career Center. We offer:

  • The Strong Interest Inventory (SII) The SII "College" report relates your interests to college majors, courses, and extracurricular activities and provides ideas for ways to learn more about the fields it suggests, as well.
  • "Choosing Your Major" Career Center Worksheet
  • "What Can I Do with this Major?" sheets listing typical jobs for nearly all majors, courtesy of University of Tennessee.
  • Help in testing your interests through internships, alumni mentoring and informational interviewing.