Switching majors requires planning, advisers say

Share This:

When it comes to picking a major, some students end up switching multiple times before graduating.

According to the University of LaVerne, 50 to 70 percent of students change their majors at least once before they graduate.

Madison Brostrom, an academic adviser for general education, said if students plan on changing their major, they should do so within their first or second year of school. 

“As soon as you’re starting to think, ‘oh I want to change my major,’ talk with an adviser as soon as you can,” Brostrom said. “You don’t want to change your major 10 times and take eight years to graduate instead of four years.”

Brostrom said students should also take into account how much their financial aid or scholarships cover. Due to financial concerns, some students are not able to stay in school for an extended amount of time, Brostrom said.
One way students can avoid taking longer to finish is by mixing general education classes with specific major classes.
Kathie Ott, a math adviser and lecturer, said if students declare their major but realize that field of study isn’t what they thought it was, they should take an introductory class for another major they may be interested in.
To avoid switching majors more than a few times, Brostrom said she recommends students research the major they are interested in, and meeting with advisers for a more in-depth explanation about the required courses.

Karlee Bush, a senior individualized studies major from St. George, said she is one of many students who has changed majors multiple times before her counselors directed her towards the major she has now. 
“Don’t be scared to change your major because a lot of people do it,” Bush said. “Talk to counselors because you may think you know but in reality, they can help you out a lot more.”
Students also should not take switching their major lightly, Ott said.
“Don’t just say one day ‘oh I want to switch my major,’ because it requires thought,” Ott said. “You don’t want to put yourself in the position where you are jumping from thing to thing.”
Even if the classes may seem difficult and hard to manage, Ott said focusing on the end result can help deter students from switching majors multiple times. 
“If you think you’re going to like the job, then just suck it up and take the classes,” Ott said. “It is not like you’re going to be studying those classes as part of your career.”