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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    A major dilemma

    It’s no secret that college is difficult.

    Choosing your friends, your lifestyle and the path that you want to travel down is no easy task for anyone, and it gets a bit stickier with the panic that comes from choosing and changing your major.

    “”First, breathe,”” Sylvia Mioduski, director of the University College’s exploratory studies department, wrote in an e-mail. “”Students who are ‘undecided’ are just as likely to graduate in four years as those who have a major (immediately). It’s all about developing a plan.””

    Remember that you are not alone, Midouski wrote, as 25 percent of last year’s freshmen declared their majors as “”undeclared.””

    At the University College, advisers are available to help students develop a plan of action using information about the students’ interests, skills and values to help keep them on track.

    There are many degrees of undecidedness, Mioduski added, ranging from those who know what they are interested in but aren’t ready to declare, to those who honestly don’t know what they are passionate about. The key, she added, is that students gather all of the information necessary to make an informed decision.

    Molly Ford Leibowitz, a creative writing senior, spent her first two years at the UA trying to figure out what she wanted to do.

    “”At first I decided I wanted to be an English major because I liked reading and it was about the time to declare your major,”” Leibowitz said. “”But then I went to the English department and realized we had to read old English, like ‘Beowulf,’ which I really didn’t like.””

    After doing a little more research, Leibowitz realized that she enjoyed writing more than reading and changed her major.

    To change majors, a student must follow the requirements of the department offering the chosen major, Mioduski wrote.

    “”Some departments only require that you meet with the major advisor (sic) who will officially change your major,”” she wrote.

    Some departments, however, require students to attend an advising orientation before meeting with the major adviser, and others have very specific admission requirements, including required courses, grades and portfolio material.

    “”The best resource for information is the advising office in the major you want to pursue,”” Mioduski added.

    To change a minor, students should consult with an adviser in their major and learn about the declaring process, she wrote.

    University policy states that you must declare your major by the time you have completed 55 units, Mioduski wrote, but declaring at 45 units, typically achieved during one’s second year, is a good idea to gain access to classes that are restricted to majors only.

    For students who are new to the UA, or still trying to figure out their academic path, Mioduski suggested they talk to instructors who could point them toward courses they may be interesed in.

    Often, students choose their major from classes they enjoyed in their initial years, she wrote.

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