If you are looking to go to college then you might be wondering if the major that you apply for is important.
This post will show you a number of ways that the major that you apply for does matter.
So, does it matter which major you apply for? The only case where applying for a major other than your intended major might improve your chances of admission is if it’s a competitive major at a public university. However, even then, if you get accepted, you might have a hard time transferring into the major that you want. So, it is best to apply for the major that you are actually interested in.
There are actually a lot of reasons that it does matter which major you apply for and there are a number of things to consider when deciding on a major.
It won’t usually impact your chances of acceptance
For the most part, applying to a major other than the one that you are interested in will not improve your chances of acceptance.
If you are applying to a selective liberal arts college such as Harvard College which is contained within Harvard University then it won’t help to apply to a different major. This is because the student to faculty ratio is normally low across majors. This means that there is not usually a strain on resources across majors so acceptance rates tend to be the same across majors as well.
However, in some cases, applying to a less competitive major can help improve your chances of getting admitted. This is because at some public universities more popular majors might have lower acceptance rates since there are not enough resources to cope with all of the admissions to that major. So, acceptance rates will be lower for the more popular majors where there is a strain on resources.
With that being said, applying to a different major when applying to a public university might actually lower your chances of getting admitted. This is because if all of your extracurriculars and classes show an interest towards a particular major but you are applying to a different major then it will raise red flags among admissions committees. This will likely hurt your chances of getting admitted even if you’re applying to a less competitive major.
Another issue with applying to a major that is less competitive is that you might have trouble transferring into the major that you are interested in once you get accepted. Many universities will have a lot of red tape that is involved in switching to a more popular major and it can take a long time to do. This could cause you to have to stay in college for longer or you might not even be accepted into the major after being admitted to the university. In addition, if the major is in a different location to the one that you were accepted into then it will make it even more challenging to switch majors.
This means that if you are thinking of applying to a different major than the one you actually want to do then it is likely a bad idea. It won’t likely help in getting accepted and it could cause significant difficulties if you do get accepted.
Scholarships and benefits
Another reason that the major you apply to does matter is that different majors will come with different scholarships and benefits.
If you are considering as applying to college as an undeclared major then it could mean that you will miss out on some scholarships that you might have been able to get if you applied straight into a particular major. There will also be some clubs or other benefits that are only offered to students in that major.
Of course, if you are not sure which major you want to apply to then applying as an undeclared major and experimenting with different classes in your first semester would likely be a good idea.
Different majors come with different job opportunities
One of the biggest reasons that the major matters is that different majors come with different job opportunities.
While it is important to apply to a major that interests you, it is also important to apply to a major that will put you in a good position upon graduating.
Some majors have major required classes that start in the first semester
Another reason that the major does matter is that, sometimes at certain universities, a major will have required classes that are recommended in the first semester.
This means that, sometimes, delaying your enrolment into a certain major can impact how quickly you can graduate and it can result in you having a less than optimal class sequence.
Your major will determine the classes that you take
While it may seem obvious but it is important to remember that the major you choose will impact the classes that you will be required to take to graduate. This is why it is important to take a major that interests you otherwise you will not enjoy your time in college as much as you should.
Things to consider when deciding on your major
What interests you
When deciding on the major that you want to pursue it is important to apply to a major that interests you. As mentioned earlier, the major that you apply to won’t normally impact your chances of admission and when it does it can lead to further complications. So, it really is best to apply to one that interests you.
The job prospects
While it is important to apply to a major that interests you it is also important to balance it with the job prospects that the major provides. When choosing your major it is very important that you consider the job prospects of the major.
Currently, degrees that deal with a lot of data such as statistics are in high demand. Degrees in the STEM field are also degrees that tend to come with good job prospects. However, there are many other majors outside of STEM that also come with good job prospects. You can check this website to see how the different majors pay.
How well the college is known in that field
Something that might impact your job opportunities, slightly, upon graduation is how well your college is known for the major.
If the department has been prominent in publishing in highly respected journals and they have a large department with well-known professors in their field then it would make it a better option. It would also mean that you would be more likely to be getting taught by expert instructors in that field.