Majors and Minors: Exploring the Majors: Advice on Making Your Choice
Choosing a major is an important decision to make during the first year of college. The Office of Undergraduate Advising and Academic Programming (UAAP) recognizes this significance and provides the information in this section to assist you in the process.
All freshmen must declare their major during the spring term of their freshman year. The process for declaring your major is outlined below.
- By Friday, April 26: Arrange to meet with your advisor to discuss your Choice of Major decision. Every freshman is expected to either declare a major or declare him/herself to be an Undesignated Sophomore by this date.
- With your advisor complete the Course Selection form available for download as a PDF document. You will need to print a copy of the form and check off your departmental choice. Note that both you and your advisor must sign the form. To help make your choice follow the steps below.
- Signed Course Selection forms must be submitted to the Student Services Center, room 11-120 by April 26.
Examine your academic interests, experiences and goals.
- What subjects do you like to study?
- What topics excite you?
- What have you always wanted to know more about?
Being naturally good at a subject does not necessarily mean you should major in it. You will be taking several classes in the major you choose, so be sure you enjoy the subject and are motivated to do the work!
Step Two: Talk with Your Advisor and Associate Advisor
Many advisors have been at MIT for a number of years and can point you to resources within various departments, because they have taught, or advised for those departments.
Your associate advisor is also equipped to talk with you about academic decisions such as choosing a major. They can give you the student perspective on the day-to-day experience in their department and potentially connect you to other students in majors you may be considering.
Step Three: Explore Your Options
Start by exploring the Course Links provided on this site. These links provide you with nuts and bolts information regarding the various major departments, including information on the research in the department, what majors do after graduation, suggestions on classes to take this spring, advisors, class size, the number of majors, etc. The Undergraduate Administrator in each department is another key point of reference if you have questions. Finally, take advantage of department exploration events.
Step Four: Make the Right Choice For You!
Everyone has their own reason for choosing a major, and no major is "better" than another. There is really no right or wrong choice, as long as you come to the decision based on what fits you best.
Global Education and Career Development (GECD) is another great resource on this topic. Their staff can help you discuss how to connect your major to different careers and how to incorporate global opportunities into your studies. They also offer tips on Choosing a Major.
UAAP staff are also available to discuss your options with you. To make an appointment with one of us, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.