Choosing or Changing a Major

Many students begin college with many interests and no chosen major. Other students know exactly what they are passionate about and want to study. Then, during their first semester or first year at BYU, they get a worse grade than they thought they had earned, one that dashes their confidence. Sometimes students just need gentle reassurance from a parent or mentor that they are good at what they are studying, even if they did get a lower grade on that last assignment. Other times, they need to be reassured it is ok to change their mind and major to study something that is better suited to their interests and strengths. Choosing a direction in college can be difficult, and it can be a long process with many twists and turns. BYU has academic advisement centers to help your student choose or change their major. These centers are staffed by academic advisors who answer questions and connect students with the resources they need to move forward and be successful. Academic advisors can help your student understand the goals and requirements of a specific major and help them understand what sort of career a certain major would be prepared to pursue after graduation. You can find the list of all majors and their associated colleges in our undergraduate catalog located here. In addition, there is an online list of steps for choosing a major which students can review.

Academic Advisement Centers FAQ

What is the difference between the different colleges' advisement centers and the "University Advisement Center"?

  • The University Advisement Center is the college advisement center for open major students. The primary purpose of this center is to help students choose beneficial and appropriate majors that match with their strengths, interests, and future career goals.
  • The college advisement centers helps students who have chosen a specific major or minor within their college.Their primary purpose is to help students create a plan of what classes to take when, to figure out how to apply for graduation, to spread information about jobs and careers open to that group of majors.

What sort of questions can the advisement centers answer?

  • I’m interested in pursuing this career in ____________. What majors or minors would prepare me to work in this field?
  • I’m not sure what I want to study. How do I choose a major that fits my interests and strengths?
  • I’m interested in everything. Help!
  • What are the requirements for ___________ major?
  • How do I apply for graduation?

What does "Limited Enrollment Program" mean? How does it affect my student?

  • A major with limited enrollment means they only accept students by application.
  • The process can be extensive, as some require portfolios and resumes with their applications.
  • Make sure your student becomes familiar with the prerequisite courses required for these majors several semesters before they plan to apply.
  • When applying, your student should have a backup plan in case they are not accepted.

Charlotte Shurtz works in the SAAS Executive Director’s Office and is the Parent Newsletter Editor.

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