Changing a college major is not always the wisest idea when you have already started to take some of your major coursework. If you are about to enter college or you have already enrolled in classes, knowing the right time to declare your major is crucial. While it is possible to change degree programs in the midst of your college career, there is a time where making the change is considered too late. If you would like to plan for the best and prepare for the worst, here is what you need to know about majors and making the change.
Why It Is Best to Wait to Declare a Major?
You always hear horror stories from your degree holding friends about how they attended school and earned a useless degree that they still have not used in the professional world. Since it costs a great deal of money to attend college, you want to be sure that the time you spend pays off in the form of the career of your dreams.
Prematurely choosing a major could lead to a degree that becomes more of an expense than a tool. If you wait until you have some college experience, you are much less likely to need to change your major which means there is a better chance that you will graduate one-time without any delays.
How Long Should You Be Undecided?
If you enter school undecided, you should be on a mission to find the field that you want to work in after you complete school. Your first year of school will be dedicated to exploring your major options as you take some general education credits and some other courses.
Most admissions professionals and college advisers recommend that students select a major by their second year of college. This gives you plenty of time to complete the major curriculum in your final 3 years of school. In fact, some colleges require you to declare your major by your sophomore or junior year when you are applying for financial aide, scholarships, or enrollment in wait-listed classes.
Related: Are College Wait Lists a Good Idea?
What Happens When it is Too Late to Change Your Major?
If you have suddenly discovered an area do study that you have never considered, switching your major could come with some consequences if you are nearing your graduation. If you are in your junior or senior year and you have major credits under your belt, you may experience delays to change fields. Another option could be to keep your major and then select the new field of study as a minor. You still might have some delays, but you will have a degree that will be a much bigger asset.
What to Consider When Changing Your Major
It is never too late to change your major, but before you make the switch consider the costs, the classes that you need to take, and what you can do with your degree after school. Try to look for a new major where you can use the classes that you have already taken. If there are new classes you must take, take them ASAP and even consider summer courses so that you can graduate with your class.
More than two-thirds of all students switch their major before they graduate according to USA Today. If you want to make the change because of new trends in employment or because of a new-found interest, you may bet better off changing a college major for your future happiness.