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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Choosing your major at the UA

    With all the other worries that come with adjusting to college life, picking a major right away shouldn’t be one for incoming UA freshmen.

    University College helps freshmen through the often-cumbersome process of choosing the major that will affect each freshman’s future career.

    “”We offer a lot of different services,”” said Nancy Stiller, associate director of University College. “”One of the things we have is a major exploration class, which is a two-unit graded class. We don’t allow freshmen to enroll the first semester. It’s generally better for them to get their feet on the ground and make the transition to university-level courses.””

    Stiller said that students are encouraged to take the course the second semester of their freshman year. The course involves self-assessment of interests, skills and values related to work. The course also examines individual personalities to explore available majors at the university.

    “”We kind of have a three-part mission: explore, discover and decide,”” she said. “”Exploring yourself, discovering different programs and majors and deciding to declare that major.””

    But University College is not solely for students who aren’t sure what direction they should take at the UA; it also assists students who originally chose a major, then decided they want to explore a different avenue instead. Stiller explained that it’s not too late to change majors if a student discovers the problem early and is willing to put in a little extra time. She noted that students who are undecided should not feel discouraged, as 45 percent of last year’s advising appointments were from students ready to change their major.

    “”We tell our undecided students that ‘You’re not alone here. There are a lot of students who did choose a major, but they’re just as undecided as you are,’ “” she said. “”They just decided to check the major out first.””

    While many individuals believe that fields such as psychology or education hold the most number of declared majors, the prize actually goes to the “”undecided”” major, the largest major at UA, Stiller explained. She clarified the purpose of University College: to assist students in exploring a variety of options to best suit them for their future careers. Students may visit University College several times throughout their college experience, she said.

    So what should students do if they still aren’t ready to officially declare a major? One solution is to explore a major through general education credits, which are always hosted by a variety of departments within the university. A student considering a history major might want to check out several of the general education classes presented by the history department, Stiller said.

    For more information about major exploration, Stiller suggested a Web site called “”What Can I Do With This Major?””, which can be found easily through a Google search. The Web site lists hundreds majors as well as a variety of career paths that can be taken with that particular field of study. Additionally, every major available at the UA can be found at underneath the “”Majors and Degrees”” section. The site lists sample courses, as well as links to each of the departmental home pages.

    Stiller offers hope to students who are struggling with their first steps into college life.

    “”Students aren’t alone in this,”” she said. “”If they want to come to the UA and explore different options, that’s our job.””

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