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Choosing a Major

Selecting the right college major based on your interests, strengths, values, and goals can help shape your college experience and prepare you for the future.
A female student smiles while studying. She is holding a pencil and writing on a pad of paper. An open laptop is on the desk.
What is a Major?
A major is a subject area that students specialize in while working toward a degree. Choosing a major doesn't mean it's what you will do for the rest of your life. It's more about deciding on a field of study that interests you and providing your commitment, attention, and mastery to a subject. Some majors lead to specific careers while others offer you many other options. About one-third to one-half of the courses you take in college are related to your major.

How to Know if Your Major is Right for You

How do you know if a major is the right one for you? If you're not sure, you're not alone. About 75 percent of undergraduates change their majors at least once.

Choosing a major begins by asking the right questions:
What courses do I excel in?
Do you have a knack for math, passion for drama, a thing for history, or interest in science? Notice what classes you do well in and are excited about.
What extracurricular activities do I enjoy?
Do you love to sing, write, be in nature, or create artwork? What you love to do in your spare time can help you in selecting a major.
Am I uniquely talented in a particular area?
Everyone has something they are good at. What are your talents? Determining your natural gifts can guide you as you explore options.
What do I enjoy learning about?
What sparks your interest every day? Is there something that you find interesting and love learning more about?

Ways to Explore Majors

Your major should match your interests, talents, and skills. If you like what you're learning about, you'll work harder, you'll earn better grades, and find more rewarding opportunities.
Explore what BYU-Idaho Offers
With over 90 options to choose from, BYU-Idaho has a major that's just right for you.

Explore BYU-Idaho Majors
Learn About Yourself
Take an assessment to discover which BYU-Idaho majors best match with your strengths.

Self-discovery
Consider Careers
Narrow your search by exploring career options. Learn more about careers that interest you.

How to Find a Career

Tips to explore Majors

There are many opportunities to explore majors and interests in college. Here are some suggestions.
Explore different careers and jobs that are related to your major through "What Can I Do with This Major?" website accessed through the McKay Library databases.
Job Shadowing
Learn about the day-to-day activities of a particular career that interests you. Talk to professionals to find out how to be successful in a career. Ask them about their choice of major.
Prepare for Employment
Enhance your skills through internships, part-time jobs, volunteering, and involvement in academic socieities and activities.
Change Your Major
You might find that you need to change your major to meet your goals. That's great! Learn how to change your major.
Try on a Major
Take a few elective courses to see if a major or subject is a good fit for you. Introductory classes are a great way to learn about majors and subjects that interest you.
Even if you're not sure about your interests, the best way to find a major is to make your best guess and try it on. If you reflect regularly about whether your major is a good fit for you, testing your interests and relative abilities in it, you'll soon get a feeling about whether it's right or wrong.
President Henry J. Eyring

Myths About Choosing a Major

Myth #1
There must be a direct link between a major and a job or career.

FACT
Some careers, like nursing and engineering, require specific majors, but many majors allow you to work in a variety of fields. 
Myth #2
There is only one right major or career for you.  

Fact
Most people end up in careers that are not directly related to their major, so start by choosing a major that seems interesting to you. Some students take elective classes or introductory classes to learn more about which subjects interest them the most. 
Myth #3
There is a quick and easy way to choose a major.  

Fact
Choosing a major or career takes time, energy, and research. Don’t feel discouraged if it takes some time to find a major you love.   
Myth #4
Once I decide on a major, I don’t have to think about my future goals until I graduate.  

Fact
Choosing a major is a great first step but planning to reach your career goals will open doors to your future.   

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