Oregon State University

Choosing or Changing a Major

Choosing a MajorChoosing a major can be a daunting task. It's important to remember one thing: Choosing a Major is NOT the same as choosing a career. You're not deciding "the rest of your life" but picking a college major. You're making one of the MANY decisions along the way to a meaningful career. 

What to do & questions to ask yourself during this process:

  1. Find out more about OSU colleges and majors.
  2. What would I enjoy studying during my time here? (Check out the course requirements for different majors.  If they seem brutal, it may be harder for you to stay motivated and be successful.)
  3. Talk to other students in the majors you're considering.
  4. When you're close to declaring a major, go chat with an academic advisor in that department.  They may have info on time committments, as well as what recent grads have gone on to do.

How to Explore Majors and Careers:

What Can I Do with a Degree In...?
Explore what you can do with a certain major or degree. For example, what can you do with that history or English major.  Hint:  There's more than just teaching!

 SIGI3 Career and Self-Assessment Tool
Pronounced “siggy three” for System of Interactive Guidance and Information — is a special tool that can help you to plan your career. Among the features offered on SIGI3 you will find tools to help you research occupations, choose, change, or clarify a major, and evaluate your interests, skills, values and personality. You can access the system through Beaver JobNet. Once in Beaver JobNet, click "Log-in to SIGI3" on the right side under Career Counseling & Exploration.

University Exploratory Studies Program (UESP)
Consider visitng OSU's University Exploratory Studies Program, which provides outstanding advising and resources for students in the process of deciding on a major. 

Career Decision-Making Class (ALS 114)
Consider taking the course, ALS 114 - Career Decision-Making for a structured and engaging career exploration experience.

Career Counseling
Career Counselors are available to help you with any career related questions. Whether you are interested in changing your major, wondering about jobs after college, or just interested in exploring your interests, our counselors are here to help.

Hands-on Learning and Exploration

The best way to learn and explore is by doing! A few ways to apply and develop your skills is through job shadowing, internships, part-time jobs, and volunteering.

Informational Interviews

One of the best sources for gathering information about what's happening in an occupation or an industry is to talk to people working in the field. This process is called informational or research interviewing. An informational interview is an interview that you initiate - you ask the questions. The purpose is to obtain information, not to get a job.

Resource Library

Career Services has many books to assist you with career exploration, job researching, resume and cover letter writing, self exploration, graduate school test preparation, etc. You are welcome to read through these books at Career Services or you can check them out through the OSU library.

Question not answered?

Please contact Career Services for assistance by phone or email: