Advising Right Now: Helping Freshmen Choose Majors
As freshmen begin to narrow their major choices, you will probably start getting more questions about the best way to pick a major. Your initiative at this time in the semester can help alleviate their stress.
All freshmen must declare their major by Friday, April 25. Every freshman is expected to either declare a major or declare him/herself to be an Undesignated Sophomore by this date. Students should meet with advisors to select their major and sign the Course Selection form (available for download on the Class of 2017 site as a PDF document) by April 25.
Helping Advisees with the Decision
- Sit down and talk with your advisees: When you run into your advisees on campus, good conversations do not usually happen. When you set up a specific time to meet, it gives everyone time to be better prepared. It does not have to be a long discussion, but it will be appreciated.
- Tell your personal story : You might have always known what you wanted to do with your career or you might have had you had trouble deciding a major. Either way, share your experience with your advises. It will help them see that everyone's experience is unique and will discourage comparisons with others.
- Encourage exploration: It's important to inform your advising group about all of the resources available to help them explore majors. Make sure freshmen know about department events, UROPs, and internships. Exchange programs and studying abroad can also be great ways to decide if a major is a good fit for them. Detailed major exploration information and advice can be found on the Class of 2017 site.
- Direct them to the assessment tools offered by MIT Global Education and Career Development. This resource give a comprehensive idea of how studying abroad and internships can relate to careers.