Exploring Majors

Not sure what you want to study? Trying to figure out a career path that best fits YOUR strengths, values, and interests? The strategies below can take your search to the next level.

1. Learn More about yourself

  • Think about your favorite classes. What did you enjoy about those classes? Did they cover subject matter you liked? Were they offered in a style that appealed to you?
  • Reflect about different experiences you’ve had. What did you like about that part-time job? Did you belong to any school or community organizations? Did you volunteer anywhere? What motivated you to participate in these activities?
  • Consider what’s important to you – such as what world problems you’d like to solve or how you most enjoy spending your time. What makes these things important?
  • Talk to people who you trust and know you well. What strengths do they see in you? How could those strengths be linked to possible career paths?

2. Gather information

  • Do a career assessment to explore what makes you tick. See what possibilities emerge based answering questions about yourself. After you complete any assessment, review your results. What possibilities resonate with you?
    • You can start with some free assessments at MNSU’s Career Development Center.
      • Career Assessment: learn about yourself, discovering your interests, identifying your skills and values, and figuring out how they relate to the world of work with these assessments. 
      • FOCUS assessment: evaluate your career relevant personal qualities and explore career fields and major areas of study that are most compatible with your assessment results 
  • Check out the Career Development Center’s Choosing & Changing Majors handbook – for some great strategies to explore your options. 
  •   Review MNSU’s undergraduate catalog to learn more about majors offered.  
    • Cross off all majors that do NOT appeal to you
    • Dive deeper into majors that are unfamiliar to you and majors that really grab your interest. 
    • Consider the list of courses required under unfamiliar majors and/or majrs that interest you. Do the course titles and descriptions sounds interesting? Cross off majors that no longer appeal to you.
  • Once you’ve narrowed down your list of major possibilities, go to MNSU’s “What Can I Do with this Major” website and start reading about career opportunities. Look at information from the Occupational Outlook Handbook – it includes valuable descriptions of what these professions do, what the work environments are like, and how to pursue a career in these professions.  
  • Are you interested in a particular career but want to do more than read about it? Consider an informational interview. This is where you connect with a professional in the field of interest. Schedule a meeting with the professional and come prepared with a list of questions about they do, what they like about their job, and what they don’t like. 

3. Make some decisions

  • Summarize the information you've reviewed and collected. Share your research with a trusted friend or family member.
  • Narrow down your top three or four majors or careers and weigh the pros and cons of each.
4. Once you get to campus as a student
  • Work with an academic advisor who specializes in supporting undecided students in the University Advising Center. Advisors can help you find classes that help you explore certain majors.
    • Connect with the Career Development Center (CDC) to review and process your career assessment results. See the additional resources and support the CDC offers.  

Remember, it’s unlikely that you will ever feel 100% sure of your major decision or that you will love 100% of your experience with any major. However, if you DO enjoy what you’re studying most of the time, it’s usually a good sign that you will enjoy careers associated with it as well!