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What If I Don’t Know What I Want to Study at an American University?

It can be hard for international students who don't know much about US programs to choose the right major. Consider this expert advice to help you decide.

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Catherine Capolupo
Former Director of Undergraduate Admission
Simmons University
Many American students enter college with more than one major in mind—or perhaps not knowing at all what they’d like to study. These students often enroll as “undecided” or “undeclared,” meaning they come to school to explore their interests before choosing a path, and that's perfectly acceptable. When entering university undecided, take care of required general education courses and strive to take classes that may fulfill multiple majors. For example, a history class can be applied to a major in History, Political Science, or Anthropology. During your first year, many colleges and universities will assign students an academic advisor to help them register for classes and choose a degree program. But there are a variety of ways to choose a major. One way is simple—ask yourself what interests you and what you are good at. You may already know or need some time to consider. You could even try taking a career assessment test, which suggests certain careers and fields of study based on your interests. Most schools in the United States offer access to these types of tests, or you can find them online. The advantage of the US education system is you’re not locked into a major; though you may need to reapply to a new program or school within the institution if you change your major.

Need some help with your soul searching? Check out Our Best Advice for Choosing a College Major to help you make this big decision!

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