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A Major Dilemma: What Should I Major In?

Check your Heelmail and scramble to Connect Carolina, collegiettes. Registration times are out! Whether you have the coveted 8 a.m. period or the “Seriously?!” slot at 2:30 p.m., you better get your shopping cart ready for every UNC student’s second favorite kind of online shopping: through the course catalogue.

If you’re a freshman or a sophomore, this is a pivotal part of your Carolina experience. It’s time to focus on a major. So what’s a collegiette to do? Go for Bio? Or Business? Or I heard the J-School is pretty cool (shameless plug)…

There are pros and cons to every major at UNC and to help you voyage through the sea of options our school has to offer, we’ve provided a couple of plusses and minuses for each of the school’s top majors (as listed by the always-helpful collegeboard.com).

Social Sciences (aka: Poli Sci, Econ, Sociology, PWAD, etc.)

Pros: With the election just a month away, Social Science majors have a wealth of knowledge. Plus, there’s the abundance of career opportunities. Law School? Finance? Politics? All possibilities.

Junior Charles Kress says Poli Sci majors can also look forward to small classes and a diverse class selection.

“I really enjoy that the Poli Sci major here at UNC is very free with its course selections, there isn’t a determined track like in most hard sciences and only 3 required courses,” said Kress. “This allows me the freedom to take classes in the topics I find interesting, without having to worry about filling certain requirements.”

And hey, you could be the new, real-life Sloan Sabbith.

Cons: Unlike nursing, journalism, engineering or any other “applied skill”/trade, you’ll leave school with knowledge, not skills. You’ll have mastered the ideologies of poli sci or econ or sociology, but you won’t have a marketable skill: just a really good understanding … unless you’re also moonlighting as a mayor… or a social worker… or an investment banker. … It could happen, I guess.

Communications/Journalism (aka: THE BEST MAJOR OUT THERE — not biased…)

Pros: Oh, the people you’ll meet! In the J-school, you’ll be invited to luncheons, seminars, private screenings, everything! Plus, you’ll have interviews with some of the UNC’s heavy-hitters and campus celebrities. Plus, it’s kinda a big deal. Like Ron Burgundy. junior Jennifer Marie Jackson says that’s her favorite part of the program.

“I love being a journalism major because the journalism school at Carolina is nationally acclaimed and it makes me feel like I’m part of something bigger and beyond myself,” said Jackson.

And let’s talk about exams … or lack thereof. The J-School is project-heavy and midterms are scarce.

Cons- So about those projects … Group projects, interviews, papers, news packages, advertising ideas- J-School kids are constantly popping things out. Sure, they’ll be helpful when you apply for jobs, but they can really pile up.

Scheduling can also be a pain. Jackson said it was hard for her to get into core classes.

“They never fit into my schedule and sometimes I end up taking 8 a.m. classes,” Jackson said.


Pros: Nothing’s cooler than saying “I’m Pre-Med” or “I’m a Bio major.” You’re the future Meredith Grey… or Bill Nye… or any other awesome TV scientist. Your classes have real concepts that can be applied to real life. And you can make Punnett squares of everybody you know! (What, am I the only person who does that?)

Cons: Junior Katie Lynch says it best.

“Being a Bio major is great in the long run because there will probably be a lot of great high paying job opportunities but while still in school, it can require some really tough classes.”

And those really tough classes are going to come with some really tough exams.


Pros: You’ll have money when you graduate. I’m totally kidding. Ideally, we’ll all have money when we graduate, but Junior Jake Perata says you get some extra career help over at Kenan-Flagler. “You get some exclusive access to employers and networking events,” said Perata. “The staff is also focused on placing you into the workforce upon graduation.”

Pair that with exciting programs like GLOBE and Kenan-Flagler is just chock full of opportunity.

Cons: There’s the obvious one- getting in. 400-person Econ 101 lectures and all of those STOR classes? No thanks! And of course there’s geography. South Campus basically has its own zip code. That hill by Craige isn’t exactly helping out, either.


Pros: You took AP Psych, aced the exam (or five’d it?) and you want to take Abnormal Psych in college. Well, surprise! *Course has major restrictions.* As Senior Maria Rodriguez pointed out, Psych has some pretty cool course offerings … if you’re in the major.

“The best part about being a psychology major is being able to take all the upper level psychology classes, which address specific psychological processes, like discrimination, in everyday life,” said Rodriguez.

Cons: Those lower level classes aren’t too fun. 8 a.m. Cog Psych or Bio Psych? Yikes. And Rodriguez said those lower levels and prerequisite courses were a “bore.”

Thinking about any cool classes next semester? What’s your intended major? Let us know in the comments below!

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