The Major Dilemma: 14 Facts on Switching College Majors

It’s not just the college you will apply to that you should think about carefully.

The major you will declare also requires utmost consideration.

Worry not — in most instances, you can apply to college without a major or you can switch to a different major during your undergraduate career should you feel that you declared the wrong one.

Thinking about changing majors?

Read on before you set up a schedule with your academic advisor.

In this post, I will give you 14 interesting facts on switching college majors you must know about.

changing college major

Changing Majors is More Common Than You Think

Refrain from thinking you are a freak of nature for wanting to go for a different major.

In the United States, believe it or not, around 80% of undergraduate students switch majors at least once

Some College Students Change Majors Over Three Times

According to the University of Tulsa, on average, college students change majors at least thrice.

If you can’t make up your mind, find confidence in knowing that third time’s a charm!

Certain Majors are Simply More Swapped Than Others

The University of South Florida Suggests that harder majors are changed more often.

It reports that around 35% of STEM undergraduate students tend to switch majors more frequently compared to only approximately 29% of non-STEM majors.

The Majority of Math Majors Switch Majors

The numbers are in!

The Student Research Foundation says that 52% of all math majors switched to different majors — way much more than undergraduate students majoring in other disciplines.

Even a Calling Sometimes Calls for a Different Major

The same source reveals that just because it’s your life calling doesn’t mean it’s your major for life.

Around 37% of all education majors, for instance, tend to switch majors, which is a relatively higher percentage of switchers compared to, say, healthcare-related majors (26%).

A Third of College Students Don’t Know Which Major Suits Their Career Path

Some students can’t decide on a major because of having zero career plans.

On the other hand, there are those — one in three — who have a solid career path in mind but are absolutely clueless as to which major aligns with their prospective careers.

Many Male Students in Female-Dominated Majors Switch

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, male college students who major in female-dominated disciplines are more likely to switch majors than their peers in other majors.

In addition, many males who work in female-dominated careers tend to switch careers.

Major Switchers are More Likely to Graduate

Refrain from assuming that you are a failure if the idea of switching majors comes to mind.

The University of Tulsa reports that students who switch college majors have a graduation rate of 83%, while those who finalize their majors in the first semester only have a 79% graduation rate.

Switching Majors May Impact Financial Aid

Did you win a merit-based scholarship and are you currently thinking about switching majors?

Check out the fine print first — some merit-based aid may require you to stay in a certain program to remain eligible for it; otherwise, you may be asked to pay it back.

You Can Change Majors in Your Senior Year

Technically speaking, you can go for a different major during your last year in college.

Of course, college experts do not recommend this because, almost always, you will have to take additional courses, thereby delaying your graduation from college.

Community College Students Switch Majors, Too

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) says that around 28% of community college students enrolled in an associate degree program change to a different major.

Meanwhile, approximately 10% of them do so more than once.

The Majority of College Graduates Wish They Changed Majors

Undergraduate students who choose to stick to their chosen majors until graduation are not necessarily happy.

As a matter of fact, while up to 82% of bachelor’s degree holders agree that college was a sound investment, about 61% confessed they would change their majors if given the opportunity.

Journalism: The Most-Regretted Major

Certain college graduates regret their majors more than others.

According to CNBC, up to 87% of journalism graduates say that they would go for a different major if they could. Following them are sociology graduates (72%), general studies graduates (72%), and communications graduates (64%).

Computer and Information Sciences: The Least-Regretted Major

On the flip side, as much as 72% of computer and information sciences graduates say they don’t regret their major.

They are followed by criminology graduates (72%), engineering graduates (71%), nursing graduates (69%), health field-related graduates (67%), and business administration and management (66%).

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.

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