Two students walk through a garden on the St Paul Campus

finding your

major

Finding Your Major

Finding a major is the first step to discovering what careers will be available for you after you graduate. With well over 150 majors at the U, it can be overwhelming to make that decision! Below are the steps we recommend taking in order to make the process a bit easier.

Self-reflection and exploration, become aware of options, be prepared to have some possible areas of interest before meeting with an advisor.

Review List of U of M Majors

  • Cross off all of the majors you know that you're NOT interested in. Begin more in-depth research on remaining majors. Use CAPE’s Major Profiles[https://cape.umn.edu/majors] to research the curriculum in that major.
  • Ask current students in the Major Network what they like about their major and how they made their decision.

Take an Assessment

  • Find out more about your interests through the Strong Interest Inventory, available through most career offices.

Use Self-Reflection Tools

  • Try using the Center for Academic Planning and Exploration's Action Plan! This is a tool filled with questions that are designed to get you thinking.

Use Your Classes to Explore

  • Ask a career counselor or your academic advisor about the major or career exploration courses available to you. This will guide you through the process and keep you on task!
  • Use your liberal education requirements as an opportunity to explore topics that seem interesting. Who knows… it could turn into your major!

Visit advisors/other professionals on campus to decide on a major, start talking to people whose work interests you.

Meet with Someone

Take advantage of the professionals on campus who are here to help you find the right path.

  • Academic Advisor – Your academic advisor already knows quite a bit about you, and they can talk with you about your strengths, interests, and goals. Advisors are also a good central hub to point you in the right direction if you're looking for other major resources.
  • Center for Academic Planning & Exploration (CAPE) – CAPE is a centralized advising office on campus. If you're interested in exploring your own skills and interests more deeply, or if you want to explore majors in more than one department, CAPE is a good touchpoint for you!
  • Student Counseling Services (SCS) – Did you know that SCS offers career counseling too? If you're really interested in gaining greater self-awareness and delving deep into major and career exploration, this is the place to go.

Declare a major, engage with faculty in your department and major, take advantage of engagement opportunities like UROP or study abroad to help you get to know your major more deeply.

Network, Network, Network!

  • Begin talking to people who have jobs you think sound interesting. Ask them about their college majors and how they got to where they are.

Engage with Faculty

  • Talk to your instructors about their careers, research, and education paths. You may learn more about your field of study as well as the places it can take you. Plus, you may need a reference from them in the future!

Get to Know Fellow Students

  • Check out the academic student groups that can help you network, learn more about topics related to your major, and give you insight into job and graduate school opportunities.

Do Research

  • Getting involved in research is a great experience for graduate school, helps you meet faculty, and allows you to pursue areas of interest. UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program) provides grants and information on how to get started.

Take Your Major Global!

  • Study your topic in a different country. The Learning Abroad Center has lots of options and even lists programs that align with your academic major.
  • Get In Touch

    If you have any questions regarding Student Orientation or Welcome Week. We would be happy to answer your questions.
  • Contact Us