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5 Steps to Take After You Declare Your Major

There's more to do after you declare your college major. Learn more now.

Kathryn Knight Randolph

February 16, 2015

5 Steps to Take After You Declare Your Major
Congratulations! You’ve just declared your major! Now what? Declaring your major is more than just figuring out which classes to take for the rest of the time that you’re in college. It’s the first step toward graduation, starting your career and achieving success throughout your life. With that, you should follow-up your major declaration with these five steps.

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1. Find an academic advisor. This step typically goes hand-in-hand with your major declaration, but in the event that you have declared your major without an advisor, you need to find one ASAP. It’s not only necessary to make your major declaration official, but your advisor can help guide you toward courses that will help you fulfill your requirements to ensure that you graduate on your time. Your advisor doesn’t just have to advise on courses either. Oftentimes, they can be a sounding board for ideas for your thesis or a resource in finding other outlets in which to grow in your major.

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2. Check out department scholarship opportunities.
Many departments at colleges and universities will set aside funds for scholarships for students majoring or minoring in that department. These scholarships likely won’t provide you with a full-ride but they will help offset the cost of books or student fees.

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Whenever you declare your major; talk to your advisor about these opportunities. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction. Also, inquire about new scholarship opportunities each semester or quarter. 3. Join a related club or organization. College students have plenty of student organizations to choose from on campus; and oftentimes, there is a group that represents their major. Some major interests, like journalism, have national fraternities that students can join. No, these are not fraternities that you have to pledge or live in; rather, they are prestigious organizations to which highly-motivated, ambitious college students strive to be inducted. Having a student organization on your resume that correlates with your major on your resume speaks volumes of your dedication to that field. Don’t shy away from these opportunities because they seem a little too studious. These organizations can provide you with more than further exposure to your major – like organizational, leadership and teamwork skills, which are all vital to helping you land your first job. 4. Do some research. Learning from your major isn’t just relegated to the classroom. In fact, plenty of colleges and universities across the country provide major-specific libraries in addition to their larger, more general libraries. In these spaces, students can find learning material that is pivotal in helping them shape their thesis, passion and future career. 5. Network through your career center. The end goal of college isn’t just graduation; it’s beginning your career. With the help of your campus career center, you can network with alumni who had the same major and have gone on to fields that you may be hoping to pursue as well. Through these connections, you’ll not only gain insightful advice into your chosen major and career path, but you may also find yourself with a job offer.

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