OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Explore Your Major Options

The University Exploratory Studies Program (UESP) can provide academic advising and career assistance to you while you investigate the educational opportunities at OSU.  OSU students can declare UESP as their “academic home” until they are ready to declare a specific academic major.  Use the following guide to give you an idea on the variety of majors that OSU offers by interest area.*

What is Your Vocational Choice?

John Holland (1966) developed a theory that organizes people’s interests and work environments into six groups.  His assumption is that people can be classified into six different groups: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Conventional, and Enterprising.

Holland believed people who established careers that were congruent with their personal interests and orientations were more likely to be satisfied and successful in their work.

Read through the questions for each of Holland's six groups.  If the desriptions seem like a potential match for you, read the lists of possible OSU Undergraduate Majors.

You may find that you fall into more than one category, or that some parts of a category don’t describe you. 

Spending some time learning about your own interests and orientation can help you make a good decision and set you up for a successful college experience.

Holland, J.L. (1966). The psychology of vocational choice.  Waltham; MA :Blaisdell.

*You may notice that some majors are listed under more than one area; majors are often a combination of two or three of the Holland types. 

You may notice that some majors are not listed. Please remember that this is not a comprehensive list but is only to be used as a starting point.  Consult with an academic advisor or career counselor for more thorough explorations. You can find a complete list of OSU's undergraduate majors here.  

Six Holland Types

REALISTIC

Are you:  practical, athletic, straightforward, mechanically inclined, a nature lover, curious about the physically world?

Can you:  solve electrical or mechanical prolems, play a sport, read a blueprint, plant a garden, operate tools and machinery?

Do you like to: tinker with machines, work outdoors, be physically active, use your hands, build things, be with animals, work on cars?

If so, check out OSU's undergraduate programs related to the REALISTIC type


INVESTIGATIVE

Are you:  investigative, analytical, scientific, or precise?

Can you:  think abstractly, solve problems, understand physics theories, do complex calculations, use a microscope, interpret formulas?

Do you like to:  explore ideas, use computers, work independently, perform lab experiments, read scientific magazines, analyze data?

If so. check out OSU's undergraduate programs related to the INVESTIGATIVE type

 

ARTISTIC

Are you:  creative, intuitive, imaginative, innovative or an individualist?

Can you:  sketch, draw, paint, play a musical instrument, write stories, poetry, music, sing, act, dance, design fashions or interiors?

Do you like to:  attend concerts, theater performances and art exhibits, read fiction, plays and poetry, work on crafts, take photographs, or express yourself creatively?

If so, check out OSU's undergraduate programs related to the ARTISTIC type


SOCIAL

Are you:  friendly, helpful, idealistic, insightful, outgoing, understanding?

Can you:  teach/train others, express yourself clearly, lead a group discussion, mediate disputes, plan or supervise an activity, cooperate well with others?

Do you like to:  work in groups, help people with problems, participate in meetings, do volunteer service, work with young people, play team sports?

If so, check out OSU's undergraduate programs related to the SOCIAL type

 

CONVENTIONAL

Are you:  well-organized, accurate, numerically inclined, methodical, conscientious, efficient?

Can you:  work well within a system, do a lot of paperwork in a short time, keep accurate records, use a computer, write effective business letters?

Do you like to:  follow clearly defined procedures, use data processing equipment, work with numbers, type or take shorthand, be responsible for details?

If so, check out OSU's undergraduate programs related to the CONVENTIONAL type

 

ENTERPRISING

Are you:  self-confidant, assertive, persuasive, enthusiastic or engergetic?

Can you:  initiate projects, convince people to do things your way, sell or promote ideas, give talks or speeches, organize activities and events, or lead a group?

Do you like to:  make decisions affecting others, be elected to an office, win a leadership or sales award, start your own service or business, participate in a political campaign, or meet important people?

If so, check out OSU's undergraduate programs related to the ENTERPRISING type