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Should I choose a college specifically because it is strong in a specific major even if I am not certain that I want to pursue that major?

I am thinking of studying business as an undergraduate and some colleges have strong business programs but are otherwise average in quality of education. If I am not confident that I will pursue this route, should I choose a college like that to attend? #college-major #college-bound #undergraduate #choosing-a-major

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Rachel’s Answer

<span style="background-color: transparent;">Collegeboard.org is a great resource for this! I poured through the pages of universities all over the U.S. when I was a senior in high school. Collegeboard was my go-to site! They put all of the information in one place and it is very easy to use. They even have various filters you can apply to see only colleges that have programs you are interested. To determine academic rigor, look at the admissions requirements, G.P.A. of past admitted applicants, SAT/ACT scores, class rank etc. This will give you an idea of what scores and grades you need to be accepted. However, don't be discouraged your application will be reviewed based on the full picture! College-board will help you get an idea of what is most important to the specific school you are applying to.</span>

This professional recommends the following next steps:

  • <span style="background-color: transparent;">Chat with your Guidance Counselor</span>
  • <span style="background-color: transparent;">Create a Collegeboard.org account</span>
  • <span style="background-color: transparent;">Start using CollegeBoard as a resource to look up schools.</span>

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Bethany’s Answer

Hi Amy,

It sounds like you have done a little research on different colleges and looked at a couple of different majors. It's really great that you have done your due diligence in researching these very important topics. You are certainly not alone in not being 100% sure about what you want to major in, many college freshmen feel the same way. To help you pick the college that would best fit you I would suggest a couple of other things to research. First, try making a list of other majors that interest you. Look at those majors at the same colleges that offer competitive business programs and compare the requirements. That nice thing about a lot of majors is that many of them require the same basic or core classes. For example a computer science major often needs the same amount of English hours, generally 9 credit hours, as a business major. This allows you to declare your major early and take core classes that are required in most majors and if you change your mind then you haven't wasted any classes. Also most degrees allow you to take a few elective courses. This could give you the opportunity to take a lower level business class as an elective to help you determine if that's really the route you want to take. Make sense?

Second, reach out to the admissions department at the college's you are considering. Some colleges have certain requirements you must meet before declaring your major. Sometimes you have to have a specific GPA to declare specific majors, or you need to have completed so many core classes before you can declare your major. If you are considering multiple majors then make sure to get the requirements for each major.

Third, if you love the business program at one college but there is a different college that has a competitive program in another major then you may want to find out about the other school's transfer admissions. It's not too unusual for students to start their education at one four-year college and then transfer to another four-year college at some point and time. If you think it's a possibility that you may transfer it would really benefit you to find out from the other college how many credit hours they accept from transfer students. Most of the time you can find that information on the school's website.

Lastly, I would say that if you are really feeling indecisive community college is a really great option for your core classes. Again you would want to find out how many transfer credit hours the college's you are considering will accept before pursuing that route. Many college's will allow you to transfer in close to 60 credit hours.

I hope this answer was helpful. What other majors are you considering?