With over 130 majors at Oakland University, selecting just one can feel like a daunting task. If you are still deciding on your major, you are not alone! Roughly 300 “undecided” first-year students enroll at Oakland each year, and over 1/3 of OU graduates changed their major at least once. The First Year Advising Center (FYAC) recognizes this can be a challenging process and is dedicated to supporting students in their search of a best-fit major!
What You Should Know
You cannot graduate with a major in “Undecided.” While you have some time to explore, it is beneficial to select a major sooner rather than later, preferably by the end of your first year. This will ensure you are making progress toward graduation and avoiding additional tuition costs.
You may never feel 100% certain about the career you want to pursue. That is why it is important to know that a single major can prepare you for many different careers. While some majors provide more job specific training than others, the beauty of a bachelor’s degree is that you will take general education courses that widen your perspective and teach you critical thinking, communication, problem solving and other skills desired by employers in all industries.
This ensures that no matter what major you ultimately choose, you will be taking credits required for graduation. However, please note that some schools or college require specific courses within the general education categories.
Deciding on a major does not happen in a moment, it is a process! It is never too early to begin exploring major and career options. Be sure to consider your personal interests, values, and skills when considering majors and careers that fit you best. For ideas on where to start your exploration, see the “Start Exploring Now!” section below.
Start exploring now!
It is hard to decide on a major if you do not know anything about it (or the careers that relate!). Your goal as a deciding student should be to gather as much information as possible about the majors and careers that interest you.
Tip: Find a way to organize your findings so that you are not overwhelmed by the amount of information you gather!
Here are some ways to conduct your research:
Visit the following websites for information on hundreds of occupations:
Conduct an informational interview or job shadow with someone you know in a career that interests you
Join a student organization that helps you explore your interests
Volunteer with an organization that interests you
Talk to teachers, professors, employers, and other trusted professionals who may provide you feedback on your strengths.
We're Here to Help!
The First Year Advising Center Staff is here to help you in a variety of ways, including:
Help you get connected to resources on campus that may aid you in your search
Engage in a conversation with you about the opportunities available at OU and how they might fit with your ultimate life goals
Help you decide whether or not a career assessment would be a beneficial tool in your decision-making process. We offer two career assessments in the FYAC:
- Strong Interest Inventory (SII) – Help you learn more about areas that interest you
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) – Help you learn more about your personality type
For Current Undergraduate Students: Schedule an appointment with an adviser in the First Year Advising Center