UNDERGRADUATE ADMISSIONS at WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY in ST. LOUIS

Major Decision

It’s almost here. In less than a month, the day I worried about all of freshman year will finally arrive: the day I have to declare a major. And yet, now that it’s quickly approaching, I’m no longer worried. In fact, I’ve already started the process to declare my major, International and Area Studies. If you’re unsure what you want to major in, just like I was my entire freshman year, here are some tips based on what I learned from stumbling through the decision process. Don’t worry, you won’t always have to awkwardly answer, “I don’t know” after the millionth time someone asks you what you’re going to major in.

  1. Take whatever classes you’re interested in freshman year, focusing on fulfilling the core requirements. Even if you think you know what you want to major in, it’s always helpful to keep an open mind going into your freshman year. For instance, I thought I might want to major in English, but then I realized I wanted to take a more interdisciplinary major which would incorporate all of the subject areas I’m interested in.
  2. Attend information sessions and workshops designed to help you make your decision. This past fall, going to the booth at the Major/Minor fair helped me finally make my decision to major in International and Area Studies. Wash U has a ton of resources available for undecided students so take advantage of them!
  3. Explore the Arts-Sci website. It contains useful information about the classes and number of credits each major and minor requires. I decided on a Spanish minor after looking at the required classes and discovering I only needed a few more classes to complete the minor.

Of course, everyone has a different experience, but that was how I decided to major in International and Area Studies and minor in Spanish and Writing. I was terrified of making such a huge decision, but now I realize I didn’t have to be. After gathering information, I found the path that feels right to me and I’m happy to be on it.