Students changing their major common, but reasons for it vary

A student gets academic advice.
Rachael Deegan | The Scribe
Dec. 7, 2015

Abbie Stilman
[email protected]

It is not uncommon for students to change their majors. Some might enter college undecided, while others may change their major several times.

There are various reasons why students choose to change their majors.

“Students will change their major for general exploration, figuring out what they want to do, enter as undecided,” said vice chancellor for Student Success and Enrollment Management, Homer Wesley.

“Maybe they are not well suited for their chosen major, or they could have a change of interest for better opportunities.”

Wesley cited a national statistic that said approximately 70 percent of students change their major at least once.

Junior psychology major, Angela Busk, started out as a nursing major. Because the two majors are similar in some aspects, the switch did not affect Busk’s year in school.

“I get to do more of what I really want to do now,” said Busk.

According to Bev Kratzer, director of the Career Center, all you have to do is talk with your academic advisor about changing your major.

“They will change your major online but it will not appear till the following semester,” said Kratzer.

But Wesley and Kratzer said it’s difficult to tell the exact number of major changes that happen per semester or year considering there are multiple academic advisors and there is no data bank.

According to Wesley, the main issue students find when switching majors is that they have collected credits for one major that may have nothing to do with a different major. All earned credits will still count toward a student’ overall grade point average.

Students could be a junior or senior in school but as soon as they change their major, depending on the major switched to, they may then become a sophomore or junior again, Wesley explained.

If the student is a transfer, they could be asked to repeat certain courses because some credits do not transfer.

“It is much easier to change your major while you are a freshman,” said Kratzer.

The reason students switch majors can vary, Wesley said,

“Many students change majors simply because they took a class they really enjoyed and felt the subject to be a better match for their interest or skills,” said Wesley. “Others also seek out majors that will land them in a successful career path and good benefits.”

According to Wesley, engineering is a popular major because it offers excellent future opportunities.

“A lot of students think they are very sure of what they will want to do when they enter college and soon find out they don’t actually enjoy (that major) and go undecided,” he said.

“Some students do graduate with a degree, get a job and notice later on they want to come back to school to major in something else,” he added.