Choose Your Major

Your “major” is the subject you choose to study or specialize in to earn a four-year bachelor’s degree (e.g. biology, history or communication). Most four-year colleges want you to be prepared for your major before you transfer. This is commonly referred to as being “major-ready.”

Choose a major as soon as possible. For most majors you will need to complete prerequisites before starting the program. Engineering, science and business are some examples.

There is no single proven approach to selecting a major. The choice requires a process of growth and self-discovery. You will need time, information and a commitment to be actively involved in the decision-making process. Ultimately, whatever you decide, it is your decision. If you are having difficulty choosing a major, below are some tips to help you get started.

Get to Know Yourself

What are your interests, values and motivations? Does a specific major reflect your worldview? Are you enthusiastic about studying this subject? Take advantage of North resources to learn more about yourself.

  • • Make an appointment to see a North counselor. Counseling can help you develop personal and career goals through individual sessions and career interest inventories. These inventories assess your skills, interests and aptitudes, and explore careers and majors that fit within those results.
  • • Visit Advising. Gather materials, explore transfer major options, and learn about prerequisites while you are developing an educational plan with your academic advisor.
  • • Access Career Services. Utilize computer-based tools and attend workshops to help you investigate careers and majors.
  • • Get involved with activities and clubs related to your interests, and participate in internships and volunteer opportunities related to possible majors.
  • • Participate in a Career Planning and Personal Evaluation course at North (HDC100)

Evaluate Academic Strengths and Weaknesses

  • • Do you enjoy problem solving or writing papers? Are you technically oriented? Do you love to help people? Begin researching majors that include the activities that you enjoy the most and you feel you are good at.
  • • Take introductory courses related to majors you are interested in exploring. Consider what classes you enjoy and what classes are a struggle.

Gather Information

  • • Meet with four-year college representatives and major advisors. Take advantage of transfer activities on campus - college fairs, transfer workshops and advising appointments. Quarterly events are listed on the Advising & Transfer Events Calendar.
  • • Attend information sessions for majors that you are interested in and visit major departments at four-year colleges and universities. If you are interested in the University of Washington, check out the University of Washington’s Transfer Thursday schedule.
  • • Interview individuals who know about your proposed major, including North and university faculty and advisors.
  • • Do your own research. Review degree requirements, including any prerequisites you must complete before you are accepted into your major.

Identify Your Options

  • • Look at college Web sites, catalogs and other publications and develop a list of majors you would like to explore.

Web Resources

Washington Occupational Information System (WOIS)
Research what a day in the life of a specific occupation is like. View earnings, skills and training required, projected outlook, schools and training programs offered in the state for various occupational areas. Ask Advising for the current site key.

Occupational Outlook Handbook 
Nationally recognized source of career information

Please Understand Me II
Personality temperament/style and connection to work/career

What Can I do with a Major in…?

University of Washington Career Center

World of Work Map  
What kind of work is for you? Are you a Data, Things, Ideas or People person, or somewhere in between?