Some careers require specific majors. Others don’t. It’s unlikely you’ll land an advertising job if you didn’t at least major in a related field and take some advertising or communications classes. On the other hand, if you’re considering a law career, you might be surprised at the variety of majors that will support this path.

By the same token, don’t major in something you dislike or feel lukewarm about just because it seems that it will get you to a perceived end. We want you to be happy not only with your ultimate career, but with your college experience, as well.

Choosing a Major: Don’t Panic

Occasionally, students come into our office and ask, “What should I major in?” This is a question that only you can answer. We can, however—in addition to your professors and academic advisor—give you the resources to help you answer it for yourself. A combination of getting-to-know-yourself and research is key.

If you have no idea what kind of career you’d like, don’t worry—your major doesn’t have to determine the course of the rest of your life. Think about your academic interests, come to a workshop on choosing a major, explore department websites, and then see one of our career counselors who can help guide you through the process. This isn’t the only turning point in your life, so relax and use the resources at our office, and around campus, to help make the best decision—for you.

The first step in choosing a major is to understand yourself. Think about the following questions:

  • What skills do you have and which would you like to develop? Do you love to write or analyze problems?
  • What interests you? Are you passionate about literature or understanding the universe?
  • What are your personal values? Do you want your friends to be loyal or honest?
  • What do you enjoy spending time doing? Would you rather play a sport or read a book?
  • What motivates you? If you could change one problem in the world, what would it be?

Ways We Can Help

Workshops + Programs: There are many avenues to explore that can help you settle on a major. Get started by attending our “Choosing a Major” workshop. Keep an eye on our calendar, too, for programs with alumni speakers, as well as the Majors Fair in the fall.

Counseling Session: Our counselors can help you explore your interests and how they could translate into a major or minor.

Undergraduate and graduate students: sign up for an appointment on BU CareerLink. Alumni: call 617-353-3590 to schedule an appointment.

Self-Discovery Tools

Analytical tools—usually referred to as “inventories”—can be useful in the self-assessment process. While they don’t have all the answers, they can help you sort out a direction; identify your skills, interests, and values; and even understand why you sometimes think and feel the way you do.

Our counseling staff offers a range of inventories. To discuss inventories further, please schedule an appointment to meet with a career counselor. Undergraduate and graduate students can schedule an appointment on BU CareerLink. Alumni, please call 617-353-3590 to set up an appointment.