The path to college can be a challenging and confusing one. There are many moving parts, and often your ideals and preferences change during the admission process. However, once you narrow down your choices and interests, the dust may settle. Choosing a college major is an enormous decision and can dictate your future during and after college. But what happens when you can’t narrow down your interests to one specific major? Many people see this as a challenge or problem when it can actually open up a lot of doors and opportunities during your search for the perfect school.
Declaring a double-major
When you’re interested in multiple fields of study, you have a few options. One is double-majoring. While not all schools and programs offer double majors, many schools do open the door to students who feel their interests can’t be condensed into one specific area. Research if your colleges of interest offer the option to pursue two fields of study. Also, make sure you’re interested in double-majoring with two majors that fall under the same degree (i.e., both are a BA or BS program). Having a double major can be time consuming, but it can also provide many possibilities and academic experiences. Be aware that some schools may task it differently than others. If you’re certain you want to double-major and one of the schools you were interested in doesn’t offer that opportunity, cut that school off your list.
Choosing a minor
Declaring a minor in one of your areas of interest is a great option as well. If a college doesn’t offer one of your areas of study as a major or you don’t want to double-major, noting your second area of interest as a minor could be a perfect balance. Minors are much less time consuming than a second major because they take fewer credits to earn. Again, if you’re set on two areas of study and want to minor but a college doesn’t offer the minor you want, you can cut that school off your list.
Related: 3 Ways to Pick Your College Minor
Considering specific schools and programs
It’s important to note the costs each school states for each major. Some majors may cost more than others, and a major might cost more at one school than it does at another. Also, some schools with multiple campuses—like Fordham University, which has Lincoln Center and Rose Hill—may only offer the majors you like at one campus. Make sure you choose a school that offers your programs of interest at the campus you’re attending or interested in, or make sure your major choices are offered at all campuses. Additionally, if you’re planning to play a varsity sport in college, you may need to be on a specific campus, so make sure that campus offers your major choices too.
Finding schools that allow you to explore
While it can seem troublesome not knowing exactly what you want to major in, it actually may open the door for other aspects to play bigger roles in your college search. If you have two or more areas of interest, the likelihood of a college offering one of those majors is much higher than if you are set in stone with one major. This means you’re more likely to find a school that offers what you’re looking for. In turn, you can pay more attention to other aspects of the college search, such as location, class sizes, campus environment, the surrounding area, etc. This can make your college search easier, as more opportunities open up for you to focus on what you also care about besides your major. If you really aren’t sure which major to pick, choose a school that offers both, or see if the school offers an exploratory program that allows you to learn about your options while staying on track to graduate. That way if you decide you aren’t the biggest fan of the first major you choose, you can switch to another. Make note of schools that allow transferring or changing majors before you choose.
While it can seem worrisome that you’re unable to nail down and commit to one major, it can truly open up doors and make your college experience a fun and unique one. Stay open minded and true to yourself and your passions! Continuing to research specific details in your areas of interest will help you be successful in your college search and in the future.
Need more advice on exploring programs and choosing a major? Check out the blogs and articles in our Majors and Academics section.