Changing a major is not an uncommon situation. In reality, it is quite the opposite – many students understand that they need a change during their studies.
Why is this so common? Well, many students go to college right after high school, which means they are from 17 to 19 years old. And it is pretty difficult to make such a huge decision at such a young age. No one is particularly mature at this point in life.
Secondly, people change. And their interests change, too. It is better to switch courses mid-year than end up with a degree that you won’t use. We’ve gathered tips and tricks based on personal experience, stories or friends and relatives, and professionals’ from the best essay writing service advice. Here is what to consider when changing a major.
Risks You Might Face
Although many students do it, it doesn’t matter that the process is easy and fast. It will probably be tiring and sometimes annoying, but the result is worth it. According to the report of the National Center for Education Statistics, about 33% of students change their major at least once during their Bachelor’s studies. And 10% of students do it twice. Ohio University statistics show the same percentage.
One of the reasons is the growing number of possibilities. Only in the US, there are more than 1,500 educational programs one might attend. The number of majors has grown significantly in the last 15 years. And college is the place that broadens one’s worldview and helps to learn about other opportunities. Maybe you didn’t even know that there were other options when you declared the major. The common risks of such a decision are:
- Losing scholarship if it was major-specific;
- Spending more time in college (depending on when you are choosing another program, you might need to do a couple of additional semesters);
- Additional tuition costs. If you’ll have to extend your college stay, it will result in more expenses. Each new semester means more money to pay;
- If you apply to highly competitive program just for sake of it, your request may be declined;
- You might not meet the minimum academic requirements for a particular program in your university and then you’ll have to transfer to another college.
But if you feel it in your guts – then it is time to make a move.
Tips on the Process of Changing College Programs
1. Try to find the real reason.
It is not an easy choice to make. That’s why it takes a reasonable time to consider. Make sure that you do not do it because of stress or anxiety. Maybe this particular university is not suitable for you, but the program is what you actually want. Give yourself time to think about it in detail.
2. Explore the possibilities of the new major.
Before you dive in, be sure to learn more about the major you’ve selected. Ask industry experts about their experiences, research online, and maybe look for any practical experience in the field. Of course, you can change the major once more but it is better to be sure.
3. Talk to your advisor.
As soon as the decision is final, consult with the advisor. They can help with the deadlines of declaring a new major (you’ll have to fill in documents and file a request). They also will help to create a new schedule and meet educational demands. It is the most effective way to smoothen the process.
4. Prepare to talk to your parents.
They probably won’t be very enthusiastic about it, especially if they paid a part of your tuition. Prepare an argumentation of why it is vital for you. Eventually, they will understand and accept your choice, just be aware that this conversation wouldn’t be easy
5. Check out scholarship requirements.
Are the scholarship requirements related to the major or not? If you lose the scholarship, start searching for a new one to apply for, even if it’s next year.
6. It is fine to change your program mid-year.
The main rule to remember here is you have to apply before the deadline. Each university has its own rules and regulations in this regard, so learn them on the website or through an advisor.
7. Make sure that your credits will transfer to the new program.
Most of the time, the first 60 credits (about two years of college) are general subjects that are often transferred completely. If you are transferring to another college at the same time, request a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) and degree audit. It is necessary because the programs differ in various schools.
8. Consider graduating in this subject as a minor.
It will be especially useful if you’ve already finished a course paper. Your Advisor can help you with this, too. There is no need to waste years of hard work. If you are changing majors after you’ve finished the paper, make it your minor.
9. Do not stop attending classes in the transferring process.
They still count and you might lower your GPA, which will impact whether you are approved or not to the new program. Even if you do not feel like it matters anymore, it sure does.
10. Get excited.
When you’ve filed all the paperwork and got your application approved, it is time to get excited. Now you are going to pursue the desired degree, meet new people, and have fun!
Transferring to a new program might be a difficult and tiring process. But if you’ve made such a decision, you know exactly what for. Make sure to prepare all documents in time, check scholarship requirements, talk to an advisor, and transfer all previous credits.
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