Hi again, Bears! I’m back to write the blog post for this week. If you read my all-about-me post from a few weeks ago, you may remember that I’ve changed my major and minor a couple of times—and that is definitely not an experience unique to me. Most college students change their major at least once throughout their undergraduate years, and some come to school without a declared major at all. Since I consider myself to be an expert, I thought this week I would discuss how to declare or change your major.
How to Declare or Change Your Major
Know what you’re getting yourself into.
This step might sound a little daunting, but it’s the first step for a reason! It’s important to know what classes you’ll be required to take as your potential major. Reviewing program requirements for your major will help you determine when to plan to take certain classes, and it’s also a good way to make sure that the major you’re thinking about declaring is really for you. It’s okay to not like the idea of a couple of classes you’re required to take, but if a majority of them sound entirely unappealing to you, you may want to reconsider your decision. Keep in mind that you deserve to study something that you enjoy, and while it may be challenging, your studies should never be absolutely unbearable. The Missouri State website has the admissions requirements, program requirements, course catalog, and more information for every major offered on campus, and you can access any of that information by typing the name of your desired major into the white rectangular search bar located in the top right-hand corner of the webpage.
See an advisor.
Some departments prefer or require that you meet with an advisor from your desired major before you’re able to declare it. Either way, meeting with an advisor to discuss your potential major can help you plan out future semesters as well as make you aware of any admission requirements the program may have before you’re able to declare. It’s also another good way to make sure that you’re fully aware of all of the requirements that you will need to fulfill in order to graduate. Typically, you can schedule an advising appointment for your potential major by contacting the head of the department. Other times, a program may have a specific advising center or advisor that you’ll need to contact.
If you’ve seen an advisor and reviewed the requirements, it’s time to declare your new major! There are multiple ways that you can do it. First, you could visit the Academic Advising & Transfer Center in University Hall 109. They’ll have someone there that will change your degree in the system for you. If you’re unable to visit them in person, you can also contact them via email, but be sure to include your BearPass number and be specific about what program you would like to add to or remove from your degree. Another way, and probably the easiest, is to use the online request form that you can access from the Missouri State website. If you type “declare or change a major” in the white rectangular search bar located in the top right-hand corner of the webpage, a link will pop up to a page called “Steps to Declare or Change a Major”. If you click on that link, you’ll have the option of accessing the online form, or reviewing more information about the options that I’ve listed above.
Changing your major or admitting yourself into a new degree program can be really intimidating, but it’s important to remember, like I said before, that you deserve to study something that you enjoy. Keep in mind that even if your new major (or minor or certificate) turns out not to be a good fit for you, you can always go back and change it again. I’ve visited that online request form countless times! There is absolutely nothing wrong with not knowing what you want to do. But, when you do, hopefully this information will be of service to you. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you again in a future blog post!
(Bio: I’m a sophomore out-of-state student studying Philosophy with a minor in Geology Creative Writing.)