Choosing Your Major

IV. Researching Majors

  • Make a list of majors of some interest. (If you are having difficulty coming up with a list or have too many possibilities it probably is an indication that you ought to consult with Advising and/or Career Center staff about assessing your interests, abilities etc.)
  • Read through the College Catalog and check the descriptions of majors that sound interesting.
  • Circle or highlight course descriptions in the catalog that sound interesting. Do you find that a number of them fall into a particular major or two?
  • Browse Departmental Major Handbooks available in the Advising Center for requirements and other information. (Available for certain majors)
  • Without thinking about careers ask some questions of yourself about these possible majors.
    • Am I interested in subject matter?
    • Do I enjoy reading and learning about the field?
    • Do I have or can I develop the skills necessary for success in this major?
  • Explore and read printed information about majors available in Career and Advising Centers.
    • Review Major Decisions
    • Review College Majors and Careers
    • Review Major Options
    • Review the Career Connection
    • Review What Can I Do With A Major In.....
  • Explore possible career fields of interest related to academic majors.
  • Explore Encyclopedia of Career Choices for the 90s.
  • Explore College Majors and Careers.
  • Process the information you've gathered from printed material with Career Center Staff, Advising Center Staff, and/or faculty member in the specific major.
  • Make an appointment to talk with a faculty member about:
    • The skills and areas of expertise you will develop in studying the disciplines they're teaching.
    • The careers recent majors have entered.
    • Internships that majors have completed or are completing.
    • Requirements for specific major.
    • Availability of departmental major handbook.
    • Research and work possibilities within the major department.
  • Contact former Gustavus students who graduated with your major of interest.
    • Consult with Career Center Staff to access the Alumni Career Information Network.
    • Review "Informational Interviewing" handout available from Career Center to prepare for these conversations.
  • Consult with Advising Center Staff about planning for your possible major.
    • Meet with a staff person to review degree audit to determine time line for completing major & general education requirements.

Advantages of the Research Process

  • What are some of the advantages of taking on this process of researching specific majors? In short, you will be able to:
    • Open up the possibilities before making a choice.
    • Make a wise & more personally satisfying major decision.
    • Feel more confident about your ultimate choice.
    • Understand the skills gained in certain majors & through a liberal arts education that transfer to careers.
    • List the types of careers Gustavus graduates in the major of your choice have achieved.
    • Recognize that a major can prepare you for a wide variety of career possibilities & even some careers not directly related to that major.
    • Determine the requirements of a major & a time line for completing major & general education requirements.