College Majors and Selecting Colleges

University Majors and College Decisions, College Decisions and Majors, Intended Majors

It can be foolish to choose a college based on a major the schools offers. Your idea for what you want to major in today will likely change tomorrow (photo credit: Andreas Praefcke).

Selecting colleges based on majors that are offered at particular universities isn’t always the best way to go. If you’re interested in engineering and a school doesn’t have an engineering program, then by all means that school may not be for you. If you’re interested in a BS/MD program and a university doesn’t have a BS/MD program, then apply to those that do. But when it comes to selecting colleges based on what majors a particular university offers, we think this is a major mistake.

Students change their minds on majors as often as they change their minds on their favorite breakfast cereal. It might be Cheerios on Tuesday and Kix on Thursday. Who knows. Maybe a student wants to study psychology when applying to college but after they get a bad grade in Psychology 101, they reconsider. Or maybe psychology turns out to not be of interest to them later. You just don’t know so to limit your college list based on an intended college major is actually quite foolish.

Unless you want to study something like engineering and a school you otherwise would be interested in doesn’t have an engineering program, leave your options open. It’s the very beauty of a liberal arts education. If you want to be a lawyer, you don’t have to be pre-law at highly selective colleges. Few highly selective colleges even have pre-law programs. And pre-med isn’t a major at most highly selective colleges. Sure, there are requirements for med school (i.e., organic chemistry), but you can even be a classics major and gain admission to med school so long as you fulfill the course requirement.

Have a question about college majors and how they should factor into your selection of colleges? Let us know your question by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you! And, while you’re here, read about College Majors and Earning Potential.


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