Featured Image

How Your Potential Major Can Influence Your College Search

Many factors go into finding the right college, from academic rigor to scholarships offered to sports. But where does your college major fit in?

Many factors go into finding the right college, and they vary from person to person. Some students look for the overall academic rigor, the amount of scholarship money offered, or even sports available. But what about college major?

Though plenty of students find their college first and decide on their major later, using your major as your guide in finding the right college for you can be extremely powerful.

Your college major can influence your college search in a variety of ways. For instance, if you start your search already knowing exactly what you want to major in, then you will look at colleges that only offer that specific major. Depending on how common or uncommon your major is, it can narrow your choices significantly—sometimes by thousands of schools.

But what if you’re interested in a pretty popular major? When I conducted my college search, I knew I wanted to major in English. I Googled “colleges with best English programs” or “top 10 colleges with best English department.” However, if you are planning to major in such a common major as English—and practically every university has an English program—then you need to dig a little deeper and get specific in your college search.

This usually starts with researching the quality of the major and academic program at the schools you’re considering, including what kind of reputation (and accreditation) it has, what kind of minors and concentrations are available, how easily its graduates find jobs in their field, and what those jobs are. You can also see if the colleges gets consistently ranked for your major program (even though you should take college rankings with a grain of salt!). Finally, you can look at the length of the program (will you have opportunities to take a second major or study abroad?) and the opportunities it can provide, like internships, research with faculty, and maybe even related extracurriculars on campus.

For me, whether or not a university had a publishing degree or program was important, and I was able to greatly narrow my list to my top three colleges by searching for schools that had publishing programs.

Even if you are undecided, majors will still influence your college search. When searching for colleges as an undecided student, you should make sure your schools have a variety of majors for you to choose from when the time is right. Also, in case you ever need to change your major, you will have a variety to choose from. There are even many colleges that allow students to design their own majors or independent study. If you are the type of person who has many interests, then these are schools you should definitely be looking into.

Related: How to Choose Your Major (or Not) 

Finding a college is already hard enough with all the other factors you need to take into consideration, so why not make it easier? Using your potential major as a tool in your college search will definitely help narrow your list. While your major may not seem like a big influence on your college choice, you might discover it’s one of the most important factors.

How is your major impacting your college search—or is it not impacting it at all? Let us know in the comments, or share your story on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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

admission college admission college search majors majors and academics

About Leah Pierre

I love to read and write! (I also have an unhealthy obsession with TV shows . . . ) When I'm not reading, writing, or watching TV, I'm spending time with my friends and family.


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

Carlie Cadet

Carlie Cadet

High School Class of 2019

CollegeXpress has helped me learn about an abundance of scholarships available to me and my situation. I was able to do research for colleges in my best interest with your website. I've had multiple colleges email me and offer me multiple scholarships and things of that nature because of this website! Thank you so much for uploading scholarships I didn’t even know existed, even if my life took a huge turn and I wasn’t able to go to college straight out of high school. CollegeXpress helped me a lot in high school to be even more motivated to get into my dream college (which I did, by the way). I'm looking forward to using the materials CollegeXpress has kindly provided me for free to look for scholarships to help pay for college.

Priscilla Yeboah

Priscilla Yeboah


Throughout my search for colleges I was afraid and timid, but I finally found the college that was fit for me, and luckily, I got accepted. One of the most influential things that’s helped me a lot was the articles and advice on CollegeXpress. It’s helped me a lot and benefited me as a senior to make the right choices in life. Thank you!



High School Class of 2019

My favorite feature of CollegeXpress is the scholarship search. As someone going out of state for college, I needed all the financial help I could get, and CollegeXpress helped me easily find scholarships I could apply for to help fund my education.

Maya Ingraham

Maya Ingraham

October 2021 Mini Scholarship Winner, Class of 2022

CollegeXpress has given me more confidence in my college process. With easy-to-access resources and guidance such as the CX Weekly Roundup, I have been able to find the best colleges for me. Most importantly, there’s a surplus of scholarship opportunities for every student to support their education.

Mataya Mann

Mataya Mann

High School Class of 2022

To say that CollegeXpress is a helpful tool would be an understatement as it is much more than that. Before finding CollegeXpress, all I knew was that I wanted to go to college, it was going to be insanely expensive, and I felt lost. CollegeXpress has given me access to resources such as helpful tips for applications and scholarship [opportunities], and helped guide me in a direction where I feel confident moving forward and pursuing a career. CollegeXpress has helped instill a spark in me that makes me want to continue and supports me in doing so.

College Matches