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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.

Choosing a Major Guide (pdf)
Student with a book over her face

Guide to Choosing a Major

Ready or not, this guide will help you answer what you should consider when selecting a major. You may be hesitant, but there are real benefits to declaring a major early and little reason not to. Find out more about declaring a major at UW-Green Bay and all the resources available in Career Services.

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 don’t worry! A lot of careers 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 don’t worry about what your parents want or what might get you the most brownie points. As the person declaring the major, you’ll be accountable for 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 it.


“Some people love to sing, but they’re warbling causes their dog to howl along with them.” Make sure the major you choose is also something you’ve shown promise in.


  • 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 which major is best for you:

Career Assessments

Focus2, the Strong Interest Inventory, and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator – no test or inventory can tell you what you should do. But, the Focus2 online assessment tool is a good place to start.

See What We Offer

Career Services Appointment

Make an appointment with one of the staff members in Career Services to discuss which major works best for you. After taking an assessment, you meet with the career counselor again to help you interpret the information.

Make an Appointment

Career Planning Course

A one-credit Career Planning course (PSYCH 225), 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.

Career Planning Course

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 your major, contact your assigned professional advisor. To find out who your professional advisor is, log into SIS. Your professional advisor will help you declare. Note that for some majors, such as Social Work, Communication or Education, students must meet special admission criteria to be accepted as a major. See department websites for specific information.

Declare Your Major

A Complete List of Our Majors & Minors

See a complete and current list of majors and minors 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 correct requirements:

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

For more information, or for assistance with choosing your major, you can make an appointment to meet with one of the professional staff members by calling the office, (920) 465-2163.

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