Deciding on a Major
Tulane is uniquely suited to serve undecided students. According to US News & World Report, undecided students need the following in a university:
- A strong general education curriculum that allows students to explore
- A lot of academic programs to choose from
- Faculty members who are available to students
Tulane has all of this to offer! Specifically, Newcomb-Tulane College allows students flexibility to explore academic interests across the five schools with the single undergraduate college. For many students, this flexibility is one of the top reasons why students select Tulane. Be sure to speak with your academic advisor to explore the combinations of academic interests to map out requirements, prioritize your goals, and explore feasibility.
Use the core to explore! For many undecided students, exploring academic interests simultaneously with tackling core curriculum requirements can be a great way to fill your schedule and to discover which academic subjects you are curious about.
Who Is Exploratory
Exploratory advising serves students who self-identify as “exploratory.” This includes students who arrive to campus their first semester undecided on their major, perhaps wanting to know more about their options or taking interest in multiple academic fields. This also includes students who arrived to campus decided on a major only to find it was not a good fit. Any undergraduate student seeking to clarify their academic path would be an appropriate candidate for exploratory advising.
Through our exploratory advising sessions, you will improve your:
- Information-seeking skills
- Decision-making skills
What We Offer
All advisors are trained to conduct in-depth developmental sessions with exploratory students. We draw upon a range of advising frameworks and skillsets, including student development theories, theories of change, career development, motivational interviewing, appreciative advising, and coaching, to assist students in their processes of self-exploration. These skills combined with our robust knowledge of Tulane University’s academic offerings, student success resources, public service and internship opportunities, and career services, allow us to guide students on a journey of discovery and decision-making.
Interested in connecting acadmics to career? NTC Career Services offers CRDV 1090: Majors, Internships and Jobs which is a one-credit course designed to guide you through the career development process including selecting a major.
What is a Major?
Your major is an opportunity to focus a portion of your coursework on an academic area of interest.
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!
Deciding on a Major
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