What Is a College Major?

A college major is the area of study that a student will specialize in when pursuing a degree at a college or university. The choice of a major is the most important step a student makes. Some colleges do not let a student declare a major until the second year of college.

Definition of a Major

A major is a student's main field of specialization. The student's choice of specialization plays a significant role in the time spent at a university, according to Stanford University. Many universities clearly define the student's coursework, and others may give the student the ability to take other courses within their field of choice. A university typically defines educational courses in core courses for each major.

Important Facts about Choosing a College Major

Common Majors Business, social sciences and history, health, psychology, education, law, engineering, biology, physical sciences
Degree Levels Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate
Online Availability Many major programs are offered fully or partially online
Possible Careers Business, medical fields, engineering, teaching

How to Choose a College Major

When choosing a major, a student should assess his or her interests and objectives, Stanford University advises. Students should choose a major that they are passionate about, instead of strictly following a career choice. A student should also evaluate academic strengths and weaknesses. For example, if you prefer to do lab work rather than research in a library, then a major in history would probably not be your best choice. Stanford advises a new college student to visit departments in areas of interest. By doing so, you can question the department advisors and department heads about the type of education you will receive. You may find that the coursework and lab work in a particular major is not a good match for you.

College Majors and Career Choices

The cost of a formal education is very high, and many people spend years paying off student loans. After entering the workforce in their degree field, some individuals find themselves dissatisfied with their job, and they want to change careers. The one problem is that career changes can sometimes require additional courses or another degree all together, which also means additional cost. Giving careful consideration to the choice of a major may eliminate the need for drastic career changes early on in post-college life.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
      • Bachelor in Sportscasting (Campus)

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Winter Park
  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Independence University

    Independence University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Independence University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »