The process of choosing a major or deciding whether or not you should change your major can be overwhelming. The steps below will help you get started in deciding what to do. Contact your Academic and Career Development team if you would like help.
Discover your path
Step #1: Learn about yourself
If you want to be confident about your major and career decisions, start by looking at yourself. Determine what drives you, your interests, your strengths, and what you want out of life. You can know all about possible majors and explore lots of careers, but your research will be much more productive if you can identify what you need and want in a career first. Learning about yourself and what makes you tick makes the next steps much easier.
There are four dimensions of self that should guide your decisions: values, interests, personality, and skills (VIPS). Let's look more closely at your VIPS and how they impact your work and personal life.
Step #2: Create a targeted list of options
What are your interests? Consider the coursework you will be taking as part of the major. Will you enjoy the majority of the classes?
Some occupations prefer certain majors, coursework, or preparation. What major(s) will help you reach your professional goals? How can you develop the skills and qualities employers seek?
Use your answers to these questions to create a list of majors and careers to explore.
While some majors tend to connect to certain occupations, most majors lead to a variety of careers. Many major paths can lead to the same career destination.
Step #3: Collect information
Major exploration is a critical step in your decision making. Unfortunately, many people make decisions about a major based on inadequate or inaccurate information. IUPUI has over 200 programs, so your strongest, most informed choices require current, realistic, and accurate information. What are the degree and admissions requirements? Resources on this site will answer many of your questions.
Standards and admission requirements vary widely by major. Review required courses and determine what’s necessary to be admitted to the specific program you're interested in. Once you have gathered this information, talk with people. Visit advisors in the schools, as well as faculty, upperclassmen, or even alumni with degrees from these programs. As you review information, if you have questions about choosing or changing a major, program requirements, or academic planning, just contact us. We want to help you succeed.
Step #4: Connect majors to careers
Maybe you have majors in mind, but aren't sure how they connect to careers. With our major-career connections sheets, you will get an overview of each major along with career opportunities, employment options, and links to additional information.
If you have questions or need a resource above in an accessible format, please email Mike Slocum.
Step #5: Evaluate your options and create a plan
Now you’ve researched majors and identified which could best fit your unique situation. What’s next? Confirm your decisions with information from professionals and related experiences. When you’re ready, be sure to update your major. Make a plan to get hands-on knowledge and to gain skills.