Choosing or Changing Your Major
Considering Florida State University offers a multitude of degrees; how is one to choose? Most students begin college with some idea of what they want to study, but it is not uncommon for them to change majors. My own children; I have three, each changed majors at least once….so far. My son found that he enjoyed the economics classes far more than some of the finance classes and switched from a finance major to an economics major junior year. Many of my friends have told me that their kids decided against a career in medicine after a few chemistry classes which, in turn, meant a major change as well. I used to envy those students who knew exactly what they wanted to do with their lives and stuck with it, but then I learned to appreciate the opportunity to explore and possibly find something new that maybe just where they needed to be.
Changing and choosing a major isn’t always easy. There are several ways you can support your student as they are trying to decide or consider changing a major. One of the main reasons students reconsider or hesitate to declare a major is because they do not understand the career options associated with it. Encourage your student to visit the Career Center’s website where they will find multiple resources to help them.
Students at FSU are encouraged to choose a major upon admission, but there is also an option to choose Exploratory as a major, which allows students to take a variety of classes and declare during sophomore year. This allows students to literally explore their interests. Students interested in this option can visit the Center for Exploratory Students located in the Johnston Building (G002 WJB) or firstname.lastname@example.org. Make the most of any interests and skills while taking all those required general education courses and use that time to uncover avenues that may lead to a new study and career choices.
Another way you can support your students is by encouraging them to get involved on campus or in the community. Student organizations, part-time jobs, or volunteer roles are all good ways for students to investigate career options and network with professionals. There are a great many clubs and organizations at Florida State that students can get involved in. (See our blog on that here.)
Job shadowing is another great way to explore. FSU recently launched the FSU Shadow Program to assist students in finding potential job shadowing opportunities. For more information, visit Students/Gain-Experience/Job-Shadowing/FSUshadow. Family friends are also a great resource and can often allow a more open conversation about specific careers due to an existing relationship.
If a student is a lower division (less than 52 hours completed) or an upper-division student, they will be eligible to change into another major only if they are on course to satisfy the milestones of the Academic Map for their term. When, and if, the time comes that they decide to change majors to an area outside of their selected field, they must go to the advising office for the major they intend to now pursue to initiate a request to change their major. This form will be needed.
There are so many classes out there that may change their lives, but they won’t know until they take them. Spending a little time surveying, investigating and exploring can lead to some eye-opening adventures and life-changing discovery. Now is the time to do it.
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