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How to make a major decision
23 January 2009
Declaring a college major can feel like the biggest decision you’ve ever made. Many students believe their college major determines what careers they can eventually pursue. Choose the wrong major, and you’re stuck forever in a field that doesn’t interest you.
That’s just not true. Your college major does not determine your career path – or forever exclude you from other career options. Many people currently work in careers that have nothing to do with their college major.
However, most careers do require some academic preparation, so if you know you want to pursue a health career it makes sense to choose a major that will start you on that path.
Choosing a major shouldn’t feel like a life-or-death decision, but it is an important milestone in your life. It’s an opportunity for you to think deeply about what you want – and to begin making it happen.
Join the club. It’s a big one. Between 65% and 75% of students change their major at least once during their college career.
College is a time of discovery. The person you were when you first walked across campus may seem like a distant relative of the person who walks across that stage at graduation. It’s only natural for your interests and goals to change.
At the same time, college is expensive. Changing your major can mean taking additional courses and even staying in school longer than you planned. So it makes sense to make this major decision carefully. Take the time to think about what you want, and plot a course that will get you closer to that goal.
To learn more about the academic requirements for different health careers, scroll through the list of careers in the left margin of this site, click on those that interest you, and then click on the “Preparation” tab.
Last updated: May 7, 2013
©2012 American Dental Education Association ExploreHealthCareers is sponsored in part, by the Institute for Oral Health.