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Choosing Your College Major: A Comprehensive Guide

Choosing a major can be a challenging and pivotal decision in your college journey. The abundance of options may seem overwhelming but, with a thoughtful approach and MS State Online, you can discover a path that aligns with your interests and goals. Here are some steps to help you navigate this important decision-making process:

Know Yourself

Before delving into the myriad of majors available, take the time to reflect on yourself. Consider the following questions:

  • What activities do I enjoy? What interests drive me?
  • What are my values?
  • What do I enjoy learning, and how do I like to learn?
  • What are my strengths academically?

If these questions seem challenging to answer, don't worry. Seeking guidance from a Mississippi State Career Center staff member and taking career assessments, such as the STRONG Interest Inventory or TypeFocus, can provide valuable insights into your interests and strengths.

Explore MS State Online Majors

Familiarize yourself with the majors offered at Mississippi State, through the valuable website resource, MS State Online. Within the "Academic Programs" tab, pay attention to:

  • Program Structure: You will find an overview of the program, required courses and any additional program requirements.
  • Course Descriptions: Understand the content of various courses related to your potential major.

Ask Questions

Meeting with the academic programs online coordinator or academic advisor can provide crucial information. Consider asking questions like:

  • What can you tell me about this academic program?
  • What are the requirements for admission to this major?
  • What are the graduation requirements, especially the more challenging courses?
  • Are there any emphases or concentrations within this major?
  • How can I gain practical experience in this field while in school?
  • Where have graduates gone to work?
  • What are some possible careers I could pursue with this major?
  • What other majors on campus might be related to this major?
  • What courses could I take to discover if this is the right major for me?
  • May I have copies of some course syllabi from upper-level courses to learn more?

Test Your Options

Take proactive steps to explore your potential majors:

  • Job Shadowing: Spend time with professionals in careers related to your major of interest
  • Basic Classes: Enroll in one or two introductory classes at MS State Online within the major field to get a feel for the subject.

By combining self-reflection, thorough research and hands-on experience, you can make an informed decision about your college major. Remember that choosing a major is not a binding contract; it's a flexible and dynamic decision that can evolve as you explore and grow during your college years.

Mississippi State’s Career Center is a trusted resource as you plan your major. Your admission to our university offers you access to a team of professionals devoted to each college, school, program and major here at Mississippi State. We understand the role your career choice plays in your overall happiness, and our goal at MS State Online is to assist you in a smooth transition from being a student to a career-ready professional.

For assistance, reach out to our Career Center staff via email at career@career.msstate.edu.