5 Tips for Choosing a Major

For some people, choosing a major isn't a big deal. For others, it doesn't come so easily. If you're one of those people, here are a few ways to make your major decision a little easier.

What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s a question teachers, parents, and even classmates ask (more and more frequently) as you grow older. But whether you feel “grown up” or not, you’re generally expected to have an answer—of sorts—by your sophomore year of college.

For some people, choosing a major isn’t a big deal; they seem to have been born knowing what they wanted to do. For others, choosing a major doesn’t come so easily. If you’re one of those people, here are a few ways to clear your thoughts and make your major decision a little easier.

1. Don’t panic

It’s not the end of the world if you don’t know what you want to major in. In fact, experiencing some uncertainty is good thing; it shows how seriously you’re taking this decision.  Remind yourself that you can change your major, even after sophomore year, and that everyone has doubts sometimes. The important thing is to make sure you’re thinking clearly. [Editor’s note: talk to your professors and academic advisor! They’re there to help.

2. Focus on what you love

Finding a major—and, eventually, a job—is all about picking something that appeals to you. What are you good at? What makes you happiest? Even a hobby you enjoy or have a talent for can clue you in as to what you’d like to major in.

3. Try to ignore stereotypes and generalizations

Majoring in English doesn’t mean you’ll never find a job, and majoring in business doesn’t mean you’ll be rolling in dough. Don’t rule out a major because of what you’ve heard; research all facets of a major and careers that typically result from it well before deciding that it’s out of the question.

4. Talk to other people

Sometimes friends and family members can provide much-needed perspective. You could also speak to someone who chose the major you’re considering; seeing where it took them may give you some much-needed peace of mind. (Ask your school’s career center or alumni office for help connecting to those people if you don’t know anyone personally.)

5. But don’t let them influence your decision too much

Talking to other people is important, but in the end, you’ll be the one living with your decision. Choosing a major without adequate research or because of societal—or parental—pressure is a sure-fire recipe for disaster. No one knows you as well as you know yourself. Trust your instincts, and you’re bound to do well.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

choosing a major how to choose a major major decisions majors majors and academics

About Meryum Baig

Meryum Baig is a freelance writer and a high school junior.


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
CollegeXpress Logo


Are you our next winner?

Register now for our scholarship giveaway



High School Class of 2019

My college search began at CollegeXpress. Due to this helpful tool, I was able to gather a lot of information to guide my college planning decisions. Through CollegeXpress, I was also able to apply to several scholarships to help pay for my tuition. I would definitely recommend this website to anyone who wants to explore colleges and get more information from admission experts, counselors, and real students.



High School Class of 2019

CollegeXpress has helped me by opening my eyes to new opportunities. I learned about such easy ways to get financial help to achieve my dreams while also learning about myself and who I truly am. I know this isn't a very long explanation of what CollegeXpress has done for me, but nonetheless, I believe it's crucial to how I developed as a person throughout my time as a college student.



High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress really helped me by letting me know the colleges ratings and placements. They gave me accurate information on my colleges tuition rates and acceptance. They even let me know the ration between students and faculty and the diversity of the college. Overall they told me everything I needed and things I didnt even think I needed to know about my college and other colleges I applied for.

Wendy Thompson

Wendy Thompson

Owner, Westport Educational Consulting

I just discovered your site and LOVE it—fun, interesting, full of incredible information you can’t find anywhere else, and a godsend for those of us in the college counseling business. I am a fan!



High School Class of 2022

My mother signed me up for a couple of scholarship contests through CollegeXpress. I was also able to do some research and compare the different schools on my list. I was able to see the graduation rates and different programs that helped me decide on Adelphi University. I will continue looking for some scholarships for my start in September.

College Matches