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Deciding on a Major

WHAT IS A MAJOR?

Your major is an opportunity to focus a portion of your coursework on an academic area of interest.

WHAT A MAJOR IS NOT:

A major is NOT your identity. It does not define you. Instead, it is an aspect of your college experience, which is also made up of core curriculum requirements, electives, a possible secondary major, perhaps a minor or two, internships, maybe a study abroad experience, membership and leadership in a student organization, and many more opportunities meant to expose you to new ideas and help you develop skills for life after college.

A major is NOT your career. While your major may relate, directly or indirectly, to your career goals, it will not determine your career options to any large extent. According to data from the 2010 US Census, only 27.3% of college graduates work in jobs that directly relate to their major (Abel and Dietz 2013). All majors at Tulane impart a core cluster of transferrable skills that serve graduates across all career areas: communication skills, the ability to critically analyze problems and contribute to solutions, leadership skills, and the facility to work effectively on a team.

A major is NOT what other people think you should study. While parents and friends are good sources of wisdom and advice, YOU are the expert on you. You know better than anyone what engages you, excites you, and makes you want to go to class. Students typically do well in what they WANT to study, rather than what other people want them to study.

STUDY WHAT YOU LOVE! If you can find what you enjoy studying, you will do well and flourish!

Speak with your academic advisor about how to decide on a major. Some topics you can cover include:

  • Determining your priorities
  • Assessing your academic strengths
  • Narrowing your options
  • Identifying your academic interests
  • Exploring your academic interests
  • Identify your mentors
  • Meeting with your mentors
  • Decision-making
  • Steps for declaring a major at Tulane