What You Should Know Before Switching Majors

So far, in my year and a half at CU, I’ve switched my major a total of three times, which is more than some people can say for their whole four years. I toggled between picking a major that I was deeply passionate about, one with a boatload of options for jobs, and one with a higher salary.

While trying to figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, I finally circled back to journalism, the major I originally applied to CU with (ironic, I know). In that time, I learned more about CU than orientation could have ever told me.

  1. 1. Your Academic Advisor is Your Best Friend

    Any questions you have, they can answer them. Any concerns you have, they can help you with. It’s literally their job, and I haven’t met one so far that was not happy to do it. They have helped me answer questions I didn’t even know I had and steered me in the right direction on several occasions. Plus, they have some great tips on what classes to take if you need some extra credits, people you should get acquainted with at CU, and planning out your next four years for a stressless school year. My advice for meeting with them is to get on Buff Portal very early and set up an appointment. Typically, it takes about two weeks to get a spot with them.

    two people working on laptop together at work job
  2. 2. What Classes Your New Major Includes

    After taking PSYC 1001, I convinced myself that psychology was the perfect major for me. I went through hell and back making appointments with both Leeds and Arts and Sciences, desperately trying to switch my classes before the final deadline. The wave of relief crashed over me once everything was finally changed and I had submitted my application to the new school. In mid-May, I got my acceptance and couldn’t be more excited. It wasn’t until that moment that I had even considered looking at the classes I would be taking in this new major for the next four years. 

    This was a huge mistake. 

    I found that my new schedule would be science class after science class. For someone who cried her way through biology in high school, this was my worst nightmare. I expected to take classes similar to PSYC 1001, and I could not have been more wrong. The lesson of the story is to check all of your future classes before switching. It will save you a lot of time, stress, and appointments with CU. Another tip: do not base your decision on one 1000 level intro class.

  3. 3. Make Sure You're Passionate About What You're Changing To

    While business is a great major (especially at CU), I had no drive to work when I was a part of it, and I dreaded my future in it. However, after finally switching to journalism, I feel more motivated than I have in a while; I’m even eagerly researching internships I can apply to and steps I can take towards my career. College is hard, we all know that, but finding a major that makes you excited to go to class makes it much easier.

  4. 4. The Job Opportunities With This Major

    This could make or break your decision. Looking at my possibilities with business, I couldn’t find a single one that made me excited to get my diploma. But looking at my options with journalism, I cannot decide on which one I love the most. Make sure that your major does not narrow your chances to be in a career you love when you graduate. Also, make sure you’re checking your potential salary with each job. If this is an issue, that’s something to take note of.

  5. 5. Pay Attention to Dates

    Being the impulsive decision-maker I am, I decided to switch my major exactly two days before the final drop date for Spring classes. After running back and forth from the business building and the psych building, making call after call to the sociology department, and emailing what felt like every professor on campus, I got all but one class changed. 

    Switching from business to psychology was not supposed to be as hard as it was.

    CU gives you dates for everything. These can be found on their website here. There’s a date for when you can drop classes (several, actually), a date for when you can add a class, a date for when you get taken off of a waitlist, and more. I know I got an email about all of these, but I also know I left it unopened for two months until I needed it. Write them down, tattoo them on your forehead, do whatever you need to do. Just make sure you know them if you have even an inkling of desire to change your major. 

    goals, coffee, notebook

When applying for a new major, it seems daunting, but with the right resources, it can be so smooth and place you where you need to be in order to succeed in college. If you’re thinking that maybe your major isn’t right, take full advantage of your college experience and act on your gut feeling.