Choosing a Major

Social Psychology course

Make the Most of Your Own Unique Qualities

Your major in college is your specialized area of study, the collection of courses and experiences for which you will receive a degree. Beyond general college requirements, you’ll also take a group of courses in a subject of your choosing such as Nursing, Sociology or Design.

With more than 70 majors available to undergraduates at Bemidji State University, the thought of narrowing your selection to a single field may seem overwhelming. Your major should be a field of study that you find interesting, that you believe you can be successful in, and that will help prepare you for a rewarding career in which you can continue to grow.

No one expects you to automatically have this figured out. In fact, way more than half of U.S. college students change their major at least once. Enrolling in a First-Year Experience (FYE) Seminar and selecting Liberal Education courses that let you sample a variety of fields are two important first steps.

Then, by learning about your inherent strengths and motivations, using sophisticated assessment tools and talking with lots of people, you will discover how your passions and potential can align for an outstanding career and a rewarding life. Once you’ve chosen a major, you can be sure you’re moving you toward your goal. Along with your coursework, you can join career-related clubs and seek other experiences that increase your learning.

Here are a few important things to consider when picking your major:

  • Career prep: Your major is the educational path that will prepare you for a specific career field or advanced study. Before you declare a major, be sure to take a class or two in that area and talk to students who have chosen it. Make sure you understand the expectations and are ready to succeed.

    An internship at a Bemidji engineering firm.
  • Earning potential: The money you will earn in a given career, both in your early years and over the long run, is definitely a factor to consider. Do your best to pick a field that will give you financial security and allow you to achieve your personal goals. But a big salary won’t make you happy if you’re miserable in your work.
  • Subjects you love: If you enjoy what you’re learning, you’re more likely to do your best work and get the most out of your courses and overall experience. Your interest and enthusiasm will not only make you a more successful student, but you will be a much more attractive job candidate as well.

Lots of Help is Available

Major & Career Expo

If you have specific questions about choosing a major, are unsure where to start or are considering a change in major, call or email the Career Services office. We’ll schedule an appointment to meet with one of our professional staff or peer advisers, who can answer your questions or point you in the right direction.

Also, check out the Career Services Calendar for upcoming programs and workshops, including some specifically related to choosing a major. The main University Calendar is also a great resource for lectures, events and other special activities that can help you decide.

BSU’s Advising Success Center is another important resource — especially if you need help to stay on track for your major or determine whether it’s even the right fit.