How Important Is It To Declare a Major In The First Year Of College?

Declaring a major in the first year of college is essential if you are going to make the four years add up. If you do not declare, you’ll be casting around, having taken extra classes or the wrong ones. Even if you just take general education classes for the first two years, you won’t have the opportunity to take GE classes in areas that interest you or are tailored to your degree. Declaring by the end of freshman year makes the most sense and is ideal.

How Freshman English Can Help It

If you need to do so–and it is recommended–you might take the first semester to consider your degree track opportunities, focusing on the general education requirements first while you settle into college. Getting the freshman English requirement out of the way, which is smart, can have an added bonus of giving you a free advisor. The English class often is geared to help the undeclared find an avenue, and some of the assignments are often tailored to helping the student set some academic long-term goals. The English lecturer or professor is approachable and available as another type of academic advisor, an impromptu one, something that students might consider as the course of study matches well that well-worn question, what do I wish to do with my life?

Academic Advising Helps, Every Time

Academic advising is a natural goal for all students, and it’s easy to find on-campus. All students are given or assigned an academic advisor, and most colleges require you to actually meet with one, once per semester. Also, you can seek one out easily, either yours or an academic advisor whose job requires them to to help you. The advisor can help, like freshman English, in helping you to set some long-term goals. What kind of job do you want? What can you imagine yourself doing? What turns you off, professionally? Which fields hold your interest enough for deep study?

Interviews with Locals can Help, Too

If you really are undecided, you could always interview with locals to see if their jobs are interesting. Setting up some interviews at the court or hospital may seem superflous, but asking a few questions–and spending ten minutes–with, say, a doctor of medicine, who usually is happy to provide the time for assistance, can make a difference and give you a sense of job requirements and satsifaction.

Overall, the best time to declare is the first year, at least toward the end. Wasted time could add time to your degree, and only General Education courses could get very boring in the middle of year 2, when that’s all you’ve seen or done. Once you declare, it’s easy to tailor your classes to the interest area of your chosen field of study, say biology, law enforcement, or medicine, for example. But do remember that taking the first semester to think about it is just fine and can be beneficial. Try to be communicative and outward in this semester; think a lot about what you want and ask your fellow students about their degree tracks, long-term plans, and general satisfaction with their chosen discipline. With a little planning and work, it will be easy to chart a course and go.

For more major options check out “Top 10 Cheap Online Accounting Degree Programs“.