Entering college or university without a major in mind is actually a smart idea, because it stops you from being locked into a particular institution when you realise that your ultra-specific college catering to one field isn’t your cup of tea.
In fact, many students change their major two or three times throughout their post-secondary education.
Choosing a college or university is hard when you don’t have a specific major in mind. Those with a career path all mapped out seem to have it easy at first, because they can choose schools that are known to be great business schools, for example, or with strong departments in their area of interest.
If you don’t know your major, however, it isn’t impossible to choose a college or university. Here are some tips on choosing a college or university.
1. Decide on the location
If you’re willing to travel a great distance to get your education, this opens up many possibilities that others will not experience. You can study abroad or in another area entirely, broadening your horizons and getting experience living in a whole new culture. Even if you are limiting yourself to colleges or universities in your city, deciding on the limits of how far you will travel is a necessary first step.
2. Look at the cost and reputation
Tuition costs are one of the most important factors for many students. Yet it might surprise you to know that even low-income students can get into top-class schools, because scholarships are set up to attract the best and the brightest to expensive schools. Look up financial aid, scholarships, and grants to figure out what your budget is. At the same time, look at the reputation of the educational institution to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
3. List the majors they offer
Try to find a school that offers the greatest number of majors you are potentially interested in. If you have a list of majors you think sound interesting, work with it to see which schools offer the most interesting classes and majors. You may end up choosing a major that isn’t on your list, but this will help you avoid being trapped in a school that only offers one type of major.
4. Residence and hall life
Obviously, if you plan to attend from home and commute to school, this doesn’t apply to you, but if you plan to live in residence and eat from the meal hall, look at the costs involved. Also, see whether it is difficult to get a spot in residence, and what kinds of residence buildings they have. Check out security and holiday policies, try to visit or look online for students opinions on meal halls.
Even if you don’t know the major you want to pursue in college or university, this shouldn’t stop you from choosing a school. It’s smart to enter school with an undeclared major and take a variety of courses before you decide on the major you’re going to declare. Follow this process to help you choose a school you won’t regret, and remember to keep in mind all of the factors you personally find most important while deciding.