Major and Minor Exploration
Nationally, of students who enter their first year of college undecided, 22% are completely
undecided, while 31% are tentatively decided and 43% have several ideas but are not
ready to decide (Gordon and Steele, 2003). One of every five first-year students
at Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU) comes in undeclared as his or her major. Further,
even though many students do enter IWU with a major, this often changes once they
start taking classes. Whether you are undecided or contemplating a change of major,
there are appropriate resources available to you at IWU!
Utilize the resources on campus in the Office of Academic Advising (Holmes Hall -
Room 110, through the Office of the Registrar) and in the Hart Career Center in the
Evaluate your interests, skills, values and how they will coincide with various majors
and career paths. Make lists!
Research the majors offered at IWU and start to gain more information about them.
Eliminate programs you know you are not interested in.
Visit department homepages of majors that are of interest to you.
Attend meetings of student and professional organizations that interest you.
Pursue course work and co-curricular activities that expand your knowledge about fields
of study and help you develop additional skills. This will aid you in self-assessment
in the major and career decision-making process. Computer, foreign language, leadership,
and communication skills are valuable in any profession.
Talk to friends and classmates about their majors, minors, and career paths. Talk
to professors and advisors about programs and majors related to courses and subjects
that interest you.
Search for specific professions you are interested in on the Occupational Outlook
Handbook to get an overview of the profession and education needed: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Use the Internet to search for information on potential academic and career interests.
Remember that a liberal arts degree can lead you to a variety of different career