Does this sound familiar?
You're loving everything you're reading about a certain school: the location, the campus, the real-world learning opportunities, the student life and then, ugh, they don't offer wizardry as a major?!
When that happens—when you don't see your intended major listed at a college you're really interested in—don't give up on it.
Here are a few things you should do.
(Unless you're really looking to study wizardry, in which case, you're on your own.)
Meet with an admissions counselor.
Let an admissions counselor at the college know that while everything else about the school really appeals to you, you wish that they offered [insert your desired major here].
A few outcomes? They might:
- Explain how other majors are comparable or even better than the one you’re looking for. At Siena, for example, we designed our applied physics major as a smarter option for aspiring engineers than just a basic engineering major.
- Let you know that your particular major is actually in the works and forthcoming. In just the past few years, Siena has added new majors like data science and nursing to our program options.
- Tell you about concentrations or minors that can either complement another major or be turned into a major that better suits what you’re looking for.
Another solution: you may learn that they give students the opportunity to chart their own course of study. At Siena, we call this the Student Designed Interdisciplinary Major (SDIM).
Talk to the Career Center.
If you're set on a specific major, we're guessing you have a specific career path in mind. If that's the case, request a chat with one of the school's Career Center counselors.
After sharing your vision for your future, you may discover alternate paths that can lead you to the same opportunities.
For example, we know plenty of English majors who went on to lead careers in marketing. Plus, this route will show you just how helpful their Career Center can be.
Consider entering undecided.
Hear us out on this one. The truth is, your major doesn't necessarily define your career. Plenty of successful professionals find themselves in jobs that don't line up with their college major.
Also, you don't have to choose a major right away! By entering undecided, you'll be opening yourself up to new interests you never knew you had, and new career possibilities you hadn't yet thought of. (At Siena, we actually refer to undecided students as exploring students.)
This also gives you time to carefully create the major you want, if that's an option, rather than rushing into anything.
Keep the conversation going.
On top of all this, don't forget that internships will prove your expertise in a specific field even more than the major written on your resume.
So really, not seeing your initial intended major listed at a school you really love shouldn't be an immediate deal-breaker. If anything, it's just a conversation starter—and a really good way to see just how helpful that school’s staff is.