Guidelines for Choosing a Major
Choosing or declaring a major is not a decision that most students can make overnight. It is a process that often takes weeks or even months to complete successfully. The ultimate goal is to make an informed decision and the following steps can accomplish that:
1. Talk to a Career Counselor
The first step in deciding your major is to schedule an appointment with a Career Counselor. This person can assess where you are in the decision making process and recommend your next steps. This next step may include taking a self-assessment to help identify your personality traits, values, strengths and challenges. To make an appointment you can call the Career Center directly at 454-5141 or stop by the office which is located on the 3rd floor of St. Joseph Hall.
2. Look at the List of Undergraduate Majors
Saint Rose offers 45 undergraduate majors. At this point, based upon your assessment results and your initial consultation with the Career Counselor, you should be able to look at the list and start eliminating a few. Reflect upon your academic strengths as well as your interests and begin to narrow the list.
3. Conduct Research
Once you have a reasonable list of majors to consider, start doing some research. The Career Center has an extensive library of career resource books available to you. The internet also serves as a valuable resource.
4. Talk to a Faculty Member
Faculty members are experts in their field and a wealth of information. They can discuss career opportunities, expectations and the type of person that would be a good fit for the field.
5. Talk to a Student
A student who is currently in a program that interest you is a valuable resource. This person can inform you about class expectations, work outside of class and, most importantly, why they chose the major.
6. Take Introductory Courses
One of the best ways to see if a program interests you is to take an introductory class in the major. This class will give you an understanding and foundation of the subject matter to gage your interest. Fortunately, most introductory courses also satisfy liberal education requirements.
7. Do an Internship or Volunteer Work
If you have the time, the best way to see the field for yourself is to complete an internship or volunteer your time with a company. The Career Center can help you search for internships and offer suggestions in order to obtain this experience.
8. Declare Your Major
Once you have successfully completed this process, you will be ready to declare/change your major. In order to do so, you will want to fill out a Change of Major form. Complete the form and return it to the Office of Academic Advising. If you are planning to change your major to Early Childhood, Childhood, Special Education, or CSD, go to the Field Placement and Advising Office in the Thelma P. Lally School of Education.
We strongly encourage students to meet with a Career Counselor, their advisor or someone in the Office of Academic Advising for assistance. It is a big decision to make on your own and there are people available to help you.
If you would like to see how your previously earned credits would be applied toward a different major or concentration, please login to the Secure Site, view your DegreeWorks Report and choose the “What-If Analysis” near the top left side of the report.
The College offers academic minors in a variety of disciplines. Minors are a little like small versions of majors: they provide students with an opportunity of doing significant, coherent course work in an area outside of the major. As such, they can complement majors, provide academic or pre-professional support for graduate work or employment, or both.
Guidelines for Choosing a Minor
- A minor consists of at least 18 credits.
- Students may declare up to two minors.
- Declared minors will appear as such on students’ transcripts.
- Minors are declared by filling out a form in the Office of Academic Advising.
- Students wishing to declare a minor should do so no later than the start of their senior year.
- Requirements for the declared minor must be completed by the time of graduation (students cannot finish a minor after graduating).
- Students follow the minor requirements in the catalog under which they entered (and: students must follow the same catalog for both major and minor requirements!).
- Students self-advise for the minor with the assistance of the catalog and academic progress report.
- Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the minor; otherwise, it cannot be completed.
- A maximum of two transfer courses (six to eight credits) may be used toward a student’s minor.
- Students may use courses from the major (or liberal education) to fulfill minor requirements.
- No substitutions are allowed in a minor. Students must meet the requirements as stated in the catalog.