What Is A College Major?

When selecting a college major, you are declaring the type of studies you wish to pursue, or major in, while attending college. You declare your intent to study that particular program as your specialization. Majors are also sometimes referred to as concentrations. You are concentrating your studies primarily on the coursework of your chosen major, combined with required core courses.

A major is different than the core curriculum required of all students. Core curriculum may encompass basic college-level math, language arts, sciences and other course requirements that students must take before graduating college. The core curriculum gives all students the basic knowledge to presumably succeed in the “real world” no matter their choice of major.

Evolving college major

Many students enter college without a good idea of the field of study they wish to specialize in or to pursue as a career. Students who have not yet officially declared their major are listed in college records as having an “undeclared” major. Once a student gets a good grasp of college-level studies and starts taking core courses, the student may develop a sincere interest in one or more of those fields or in the field of an elective studies class. If you have decided your major, make sure the college you plan to attend offers that degree or certificate program as a major course of study. Those who plan to pursue education past undergraduate level often pursue their undergrad work at the same university they will attend for their graduate work, such as a college of law or medicine.

The choice of major can evolve or change as different courses are taken. Perhaps you originally wished to pursue a career in criminal justice but decided after a few classes that you are not interested in writing the many very detailed reports required of most criminal justice professionals, but you really enjoy history and decide to change to a history major. At most colleges and universities, changing a major is a simple process. Choose your major in a discipline that interests, motivates and inspires you and you will likely be pleased with your decision.

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