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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Exploring Majors

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Undecided? Use the following steps to consider your major options!

  1. Gather information: Now is the time to get started on the very important process of gathering information you will need to choose your future major. Choosing a major requires you to gather information in three main areas.

    • University majors and programs

    • The Undergraduate Catalog provides a list of academic programs, course descriptions, and requirements for graduation. Undecided advisors are available to discuss these options with you and to recommend courses that would give you an opportunity to “sample” these programs. Take a variety of courses to learn valuable information about your abilities and interests in these possible fields. 

    • Self-awarenessWhich road should you choose? (picture of a Road)

      Research shows that a better person-career match leads to greater life satisfaction and success. Learn about your unique interests, values, abilities, personality characteristics, and lifestyle requirements to make a better match with a major or career. This information can be obtained a variety of ways, such as discussions with your advisor and/or professors, career testing and counseling, self assessment programs, job experience, classroom experience, or life experience. Make a commitment to find out more about yourself and keep a record of what you discover for use in future decision making. 

    • Occupational information

      Information about occupations can be obtained in books and career files in the Career Development Center; internship or employment experiences; volunteer/community service experiences; talking to professors or people who are already working in fields of potential interest (also known as “informational interviews”); online information sites.

  2. Make your decision: Choosing a major is a process that takes time and care. Once you have gathered a sufficient amount of information in the areas above, you can begin the decision-making process. Many students will have to “recycle” back to gathering information from time to time.

    • Decision making involves:

      • Putting all the information together and summarizing it.

      • Matching your summary to possible majors.

      • Weighing the benefits and costs of each possible choice.

Services for Undecided Students

Professors, advisors, and career counselors can offer supportive and objective assistance in determining a major. As an undecided student, it is recommended that you take advantage of the numerous services designed specifically to help with your decision.

Office of New Student & Family Programs

New Student & Family Programs offers academic advising for all undecided students. Your advisor can help you assess your academic progress, do some initial career and life planning, develop study skills, and  select appropriate courses.

First Year Seminar

First Year Seminar is a course designed to assist students with their transition to the University. Class size is intentionally limited in each class section to allow students to make connections with other students, get to know your instructor on a 1–1 level and explore tools necessary in finding personal success at MSU.

CSP 110: Decision Making for Career and Life

CSP 110 is designed to help students develop critical thinking, problem solving and decision making skills necessary to manage the challenges they face now (choice of major) and in the future (career choice and balancing work and life roles). This 3 credit course meets General Education Goal 2 requirements.

Learning Communities & [PDF] Exploratory Track (2 MiB)

Learning Communities provide incoming first year students with the opportunity to join a community that supports their academic success and transition to college life. Additionally, students who participate in an exploratory learning community or track have the opportunity to take courses in areas of possible interest, as they're exploring options.

Career Development Center

The Career Development Center (CDC) counselors provides numerous services to undecided students, including help with choosing academic majors, identifying career options, assessing the availability of jobs in a certain field, and finding an internship

Colleges at Minnesota State University Mankato

There are six undergraduate colleges at the University. Use the links below to explore what each college has to offer.