Skip to main content

Choosing a Major

Choosing a major is a decision-making process that takes time. It can be a daunting prospect, but with the information provided on these pages, our hope is that it will become much easier. It is important to remember that your major does not determine what your career will be. With a liberal arts education, you, and not your major, can determine your career path. For you to be marketable to employers when you begin your job search, it is more important to have relevant experiences (such as internships) and to have developed the skills necessary to be successful in that field.

If you would like to talk with a career advisor about choosing a major, feel free to call the Office of Career Development at ext. 1711 or 517.750.6711 to set up an appointment.

Steps to Take in Choosing a Major

Here are seven steps every student should take prior to declaring a major:

  1. Look through the academic catalog.
    • Read about the various majors
    • Read about the classes offered for each major
  2. Take at least one course in the major in which you are interested.
  3. Talk with you current academic adviser or a career counselor
    • Is this major a good match with my interests?
    • Is this major a good match with my academic strengths?
    • Will I be able to meet the requirements for the major?
  4. Talk with faculty members in the department, asking questions like:
    • What is the structure of this major; what do I need to do?
    • What is this major about?
    • Will I be able to go abroad my junior year?
  5. Talk with students currently in the major and ask:
    • What is interesting about the major?
    • Do they have any suggestions as far as electives in the major.
  6. Contact alumni through the Mentoring Alumni Program to find out:
    • Did studying this major influence their career?
    • If they could do it over again, what would they do differently?
  7. Meet with the chair of the department and ask:
    • Besides course requirements, what are some other requirements for the major? (ie. an internship, community service, research project)
    • Are there concentrations or thematic focuses within the major?
    • Who would be my adviser?
    • What other courses and/or majors are related to this major?