Still don’t know what you want to be when you grow up?


With 187 bachelor degrees offered at BYU, learning about specific campus resources can make the process easier for students selecting a major.

According to an MSNBC article, 80 percent of incoming college students have undeclared majors, and 50 percent of students change their major multiple times.

Savannah Herdegen, a freshman from Arnold, Md., said she switched her major after taking a few engineering classes.

“I signed up for chemical engineering but was not interested in any of the classes,” Herdegen said.

She said she looked at all four years of the chemical engineering major and then decided the specific courses had no interest to her. Herdegen then reviewed the classes in genetics and biotechnology.

“It really hit me … that’s what I wanted to do,” Herdegen said. “I feel like it was a lot of luck.”

Other students may not be as lucky as Herdegen and spend years choosing a field of study. Herdegen said students might have trouble picking a major because “we don’t know what’s out there.” She said most high school classes are in one category so students do not have much of an opportunity to explore their options.

“It’s hard to explore because you do not want to pay for those classes that may not work out,” Herdegen said.

Herdegen said she suggests students look at all four years of a certain major and not just the major title.

“Take a variety of classes,” Herdegen said. “It may lead to inspiration about what you want to do.”

The university has many resources to help students narrow down interests and select a major.

Jessica Landry, a freshman peer mentor, works with students every semester and guides them to different campus resources.

“Not having a major can be the most stressful thing,” Landry said.

She said she originally declared herself as a business major but did not like the classes.

“I was so fixed on business management that I was not open to other things,” Landry said. “I looked at the list of different majors and loved the prerequisites for advertising.”

Landry suggests visiting advisement centers and speaking with students in different majors. General education classes can help students decide which subjects interest them. She said if students are somewhat interested in a specific core class they should go in that direction.

“The most frustrated students are ones who thought they had a major but did not like the classes within the program,” Landry said.

For her, the most important aspect for students to consider is their passion and what will make them the happiest.

“Often students go with the major that will result in higher earnings,” Landry said. “But these people are often not happy.”

The top 10 majors at BYU include exercise science, management, psychology, English, accounting, communications, computer science, economics, political science and public health.

Major Resources:

-Advisement Centers
-Major Maps
-Students in the major
-Major fair
-Course variety in GE’s

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