With countless majors available and an endless array of career possibilities to pursue, the decision to change one’s major is a common occurrence. Maybe you are thinking of changing your major because you see a better opportunity in a different field, or perhaps you had an experience that made you contemplate doing something more fulfilling with your life. At any rate, you should be aware of how to change your major if that day ever comes.
If you are considering changing your major or are unsure about what career path you wish to pursue, you should visit the Counseling Center on campus. Located in the August Center (AUC), the Counseling Center helps students discern which path is right for them and informs students of the different careers available to them within their chosen major. Often, there are careers available to them in their current majors that will meet their needs; they just haven’t considered them yet.
After you have a good idea of which career you wish to pursue, you should visit the Institute Advising Office (IAO) located in George Eastman Hall (EAS) within the Registrar’s Office. There, you will be given the appropriate department to contact for the degree you should pursue. Sometimes, a problem can arise when the university does not have a program available to suit your needs. In this case, the IAO will try and find an alternative program that will prepare you for a career similar to your chosen one. If a program cannot be found to satisfy your future career goals, you may begin to consider transferring to a university that does offer such a program or build your own via the Multidisciplinary Studies program.
Personally, I have changed my major only once, and the process was quite simple. I was a Management major, mostly because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I had decided that there would be more opportunities available to me as an Accounting major. Because I was already a matriculated student within the Saunders College of Business, changing my major to Accounting from Management was not complex. If you are considering a change of major from within your own college, the best thing to do would be to meet with your academic advisor. From there he or she should be able to provide you with a “Change of Program” form.
Changing your program to another outside of your college can be more difficult. In this case, the “Change of Program” Form will need to be sent to your desired new college for the department head to confirm it, then back to your current college for final approval. It is usually a good idea to meet with the department head of your desired college to both see if the switch is right for you and make sure they will approve your application.
Every college also has requirements before a major change is approved. For instance, if you were an Illustration major and wished to change your major to Finance, the business college would require that you take certain business courses first. This would ensure that you could handle the new workload and would be able to understand the material being taught in the new major. In addition, many colleges have a minimum GPA requirement and other grading-related qualifications that you must meet before being allowed to matriculate yourself into a new program. Eventually, after satisfying all the requirements, you will finally be approved.
As you journey through college and become more aware of your own needs, desires and goals, you may desire changing your major. Hopefully, this provides a good road map if you ever need it.
NOTE: The only thing you have to do to change your schedule is talk to your advisor and make sure that the classes you want to get into are available.