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Guide to Choosing a Major

What's Your Major?

You probably get asked this all the time.

If you haven't yet declared your major, you may feel uncomfortable when people ask. Choosing a major is one of the most important decisions you face very early in your college career. You may feel unprepared to declare a major. We hope this guide will ease your concerns and get you started in selecting the right major for you.

Student with a book over her face

Guide to Choosing a Major

Find out more about declaring a major at UW-Green Bay and all the resources available to help you in Career Planning & Professional Connections.

Your Major Doesn’t Have to Relate to Your Career

Major and career choice are not always the same thing. It’s true: some fields like accounting, education, social work and nursing do require specific degrees or substantial course work in order to qualify for certification or licensing, but many other occupations may require a bachelor's degree, but not a specific major.

  • Most employers are concerned with the skills you’ll learn throughout college, like oral and written communication and problem-solving.
  • Because most majors aren't focused on a specific job or career field, some form of practical experience is important. Internships can help you build the skills you need to succeed. So, an English major can use an internship to prepare for a career in banking, or a Psychology major can do an internship in the field of human resources.
  • If you want to go into a career field that requires graduate or professional school, many have prerequisite course work requirements, but most don’t require a specific major. For example, medical schools will require a specific core of science courses, but you don’t have to major in one of the sciences to qualify for admission. This is not always the case, though, so it’s important to research the requirements as early as possible.

What to Consider When Selecting a Major

Students get overly concerned about selecting the "right" major, but there is often more than one path that would help you prepare for what you want to do after college.  Don’t worry about what your parents of friends might tell you - you’re the one who will be learning the material, completing the papers, conducting the research and taking the exams. Therefore you, and you alone, should decide what you will major in while attending UW-Green Bay. Here are the most important things to consider:


What do you like to do? You’ll be spending hours every week going to class, studying for tests, working on papers and completing coursework, so it’d be nice if the major you’re focusing on is something you actually enjoy learning.


What are you good at now, and what are you eager to learn?  Make sure the major you choose is also something you’ve shown some aptitude for, and won't be a struggle when you get to the upper level courses.

  • Do you want your major to prepare you for a specific career field?
  • Do you want you major to help you develop skills you can apply in many different fields of work?
  • Or will your major simply be a subject that you enjoy studying?

Resources to Help You Decide Your Major

Below are some resources we use to help you discover majors that would be a good fit for you:


The College Major Assessment tool will recommend the top ten best-fit majors that match your academic achievement, aptitude, interests, and preferences.  After taking the assessment, meet with your career advisor to get help exploring majors and career paths.

take the mymajors assessment

Career Assessments

Focus 2, the Strong Interest Inventory, and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator – no test can tell you what you should do, but these assessments are tools to help you identify options that match who you are.  Focus 2 is a good place to start.  After taking the FOCUS 2 assessment, meet with your career advisor to get help exploring your career options.

take the focus 2 career assessment

Career and Major Exploration Appointment

Make an appointment with your career advisor to discuss your major and career options and learn about other resources to help you choose a path.  

Make an Appointment

Career Planning Class

A one-credit Career Planning (PSYCH 225) course, which is designed to provide you with the knowledge and resources necessary for career decision-making in college. The class sessions and assignments will help you to assess yourself, learn major career development theories, explore career and major options, and establish short-term and long-term goals.

more about career planning

What to Do if You’re Not Ready to Declare

Many students believe that once they choose a major they are "locked" into that course of study. But that’s not true – you can change your major as many times as you’d like. There are, however, precautions to consider about changing a major too frequently or declaring late in your college career:

  • Some departments may restrict enrollment in courses to majors only.
  • Other courses may have prerequisites that must be taken before enrollment is possible.
  • There could be a limited number of courses open to you outside of the courses required in the general education program.
  • You may graduate later so you can complete necessary graduation requirements for your new academic program.

Remember, you don’t need to rush the decision and choose your major right now. But don’t delay longer than necessary. It may be easier to procrastinate because you’re focused on completing general education requirements, but you need to make the decision soon.

How to Declare at UW-Green Bay

After you’ve decided on a major, contact your assigned academic advisor, who is listed in SIS and Navigate. Note that for some majors, such as Social Work, Education, and Nursing, students must meet certain admission criteria to be accepted as a major. See department websites for specific information.

A Complete List of Our Programs

See a complete and current list of majors, minors, and certificates in the UW-Green Bay Undergraduate Catalog.

You are responsible for planning your course of study and major with the assistance and consultation of your academic advisor. To ensure you are fulfilling the requirements:

  • Meet with your advisor each semester before registering for classes
  • Check your degree progress through SIS.
  • Consult the college catalog and the academic department to get specific information about program requirements, areas of emphasis, and course offerings.

Explore UW-Green Bay Programs

Schedule an Appointment

For more information, or for assistance with choosing your major, make an appointment to meet with your career advisor.

Contact Us