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Is changing majors in college a major change?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 28th, 2011
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

While in college, the young and insecure college student may feel the need to change their career path to pursue a different job upon graduation. It is extremely common for the student to change their major several times over the course of their academic career. Questions inevitably arise - does this indecision mean excess lost time for complete coursework with no application to later work? Should the decision have a concrete idea of which field they want to enter upon graduation, and not jump from one discipline to the next?

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Elizabeth Overson, coordinator of the Career Resource Center at UNC's Career Services office, stresses that the process of changing a major for a student is an important one. It usually stems from the fact that they have figured out the current major they are in is not a good major for them, and it does not fit their interests.

"Their careers are going to take up a good percentage of their daily life after school, so they really should consider what interests them when choosing a major," Overson said.

"Often times, changing a major does not affect a student during freshmen or sophomore year, because they are mainly completing general education requirement. It will affect them more if they change their major junior or senior year because they are now taking classes more focused on their major."

Students should also schedule an appointment with a career counselor early in their undergraduate career to help identify their interests and relate them to possible majors.

Students change their majors on an average three times "and this is common," Jennifer Griffin, director for advising and scholastic standards at the Academic Support and Advising Office says.

"Our office works with a lot of students; we have six full-time advisors that help students' narrow things down. These advisers have master's degrees and have gone through college. They offer lots of wisdom, are great listeners and hear from students about what they like and are interested in,"

Kimberly Fenner, an academic adviser at ASA said that most students who decide to change majors have a common worry of not being able to graduate on time.

"Most students change majors, and perhaps they have romanticized the idea of a certain major and thought it's one way, but it's not," Fenner said. "Students can always change majors, but there is a commitment factor involved."

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