Resources for Major Exploration

Beth Spencer, Ph.D.

Every department hosts opportunities that allow students to develop a deeper understanding of majors. Plan to take advantage of these by attending a lecture given by a visiting scholar, stopping by a departmental career event, or just taking time to read the research posters decorating the hallways around campus. Additional ways to explore your major in your first semester include:

  • Mentoring Programs
    • If your major offers any type of mentoring program or opportunity to learn from alumni, sign up.
  • Student Clubs and Professional Organizations
    • All colleges and most majors have student clubs or professional organizations that are open to undergraduates and provide ways to network, get hands-on or beyond-the-classroom experience, and gain exposure to a field of study.  Even if you’re a first-year student or unsure of your major, go ahead and join and participate.  Attending the meetings is a great way to meet other students in the major, to get better ideas of major/career connections, and to get a feel for whether this major is a good match for your interests and goals.
  • Major and Department Websites
    • Visiting your major’s website—or the sites of other majors that interest you—will help you keep up with meetings and other special events.  Your academic advisor may also send you information about these through email messages, an advising blog, or electronic departmental newsletters.

Over the course of a year, there are also several structured ways to explore majors, including:

  • Major Fair (College of Design, College of Sciences, and Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts)
    • In the Fall, the College of Design, College of Sciences, and the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts will host an informal fair in Clough, where students can stop by tables to talk with faculty, advisors, and current students about majors, minors, certificates, research, and other opportunities.
  • Information Sessions
    • Many majors encourage or require students considering changing their major to attend an information session, which is designed to help students learn about the academic program, expectations for students, and change-of-major policies and advising procedures.  These formal sessions occur multiple times throughout the year, and are appropriate for students who feel sure they want to change majors, or are only at the information-gathering stage.
  • Clough Core Desk: “Ask Me About” hours
    • Some departments will be available at the Clough Core Desk to provide information about majors, minors, and certificates during “Ask Me About” hours, providing an informal and convenient way to meet with key contacts and pick up information for review.
  • Change of Major Workshops
    • The Office of Undergraduate Education and campus advisors will also offer “Considering a Change?” workshops during fall and spring semesters to help students begin the major exploration process.

Information on these programs, as well as links to departmental sessions and change of major policies, is available on the undergraduate advising website:

All materials in this section are licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC 4.0.