Considering a Major Change?

Primary tabs

Valarie DuRant-Modeste
Academic Advisor, H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

With summer and fall registration just a few weeks away, now is the time for students who are thinking of changing their major to investigate their options more closely. Many programs do not accept major changes during registration due to the high volume of students needing registration assistance. With that in mind, it can be beneficial for students to begin conversations with their advisor now.

There are several considerations for students to think about prior to changing their major. First, students should embrace the “right” reasons for selecting an alternative major. For example, the student may have initially selected a major based upon someone else’s suggestion - a relative or a guidance counselor, for example. Now is the perfect opportunity for the student to choose a major based upon what the student finds interesting, motivating, and perhaps more suitable academically. Students are encouraged to meet with an advisor for more detailed information on particular programs.

There are also “wrong” reasons for changing majors. Namely, students often change their major thinking it means more lucrative future or perhaps it’s academically easier. Others may change due to peer pressure or feel that they must obtain an engineering degree when, in fact, they are much better suited for a non-engineering degree.

An important step your student can take now is to meet with an academic advisor in the major(s) in which they are interested. This will give your student the opportunity to address concerns about being "behind" in a new major - which is not always the case - and research career options in that major. It is often helpful to ask the advisor to recommend other students in a particular major. Students truly benefit when learning from other students in similar situations.

If your student is unsure on how to best select a major, encourage him/her to see one of the Undecided Advisors and and make an appointment with Career Services. At Career Services, students can take interests tests and review the results with a qualified career counselor.


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Rachael Pocklington
  • Created:01/31/2010
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016