Choosing Your Major

Start by looking at WMU's list of undergraduate majors. It might help to print a copy and cross off majors that are not possibilities. However, be sure to look up unfamiliar majors; they might turn out to be of interest.

Look up majors of interest on the WMU undergraduate catalog. In the catalog, choose "Programs" from the drop-down menu and then enter a keyword (name of the major, vocation, etc.). An alphabetical list of search results will appear; scroll through to find the desired major.

Take general education classes in areas of interest (check with an advisor to make sure it is a good choice).

Meet with an academic advisor that specializes in the major of interest. 

What can you do with your major?

Get more information on the relationship between a potential major and careers in the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Enter a major or career or interest and learn about the average salaries, working conditions and related occupations associated with that field.

Ten step program to help choose major

The following checklist is designed to help you choose a major. Follow the steps below and check each step off when you have completed it.

View the list of majors offered at WMU

  • Cross off those majors that do not interest you.
  • Evaluate the majors and minors that are left. What commonalities are there among them?

Look at the WMU catalog and department webpages

  • Look up majors that interest you.
  • What courses are required for the major?
  • Read the description for the courses in the catalog.
  • Are there admissions requirements or an application required for the major?

View major information available in the Exploratory Advising resource cabinet (First floor of Ellsworth Hall)

  • Gather informational flyers for all WMU majors and related opportunities.
  • Learn what careers or extracurricular opportunities exist for students in these programs.

Enroll in UNIV 1020: Career Exploration and Development

  • This is a one-credit hour course designed to explore possible major and career opportunities. This credit counts toward graduation.

Meet with a career counselor and take the IMPACTeX Navigator assessment

  • Discuss interests and how to pick a major that is best for you.
  • Career counseling is located in the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services in 3341 Sangren Hall. Call (269) 387-5105 for more information. Counseling services are free and available to all WMU students.
  • The Navigator is a career assessment that students can choose to take. A small fee ($20) is charged for this assessment.

Visit Career and Student Employment Services (First floor of Ellsworth Hall)

  • Complete the FOCUS assessment through Career and Student Employment Services. Call (269) 387-2745 for more information or visit online at wmich.edu/career/focus
  • Meet with a career development specialist to interpret your FOCUS results. The specialist will help guide you to careers and majors that you may want to research further.
  • Utilize online resources for exploring students. These resources can be found online at wmich.edu/career/students/explore.

Research career information

  • Get many examples for any of the majors you are considering by visiting wmich.edu/career/students#explore. This webpage also lists potential employers for each career and strategies to landing that job.
  • Learn important career information (e.g., job description, average pay, education/training required, job outlook, etc.). Visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook at www.bls.gov/ooh.  

Volunteer, intern, job shadow and study abroad

  • Volunteer, seek out internships or job shadow in career fields you are interested in. These experiences give you the opportunity to get a first-hand glimpse at the career and make important networking contacts. Contact Career and Student Employment Services for more information by calling (269) 387-2745.
  • Many careers demand global awareness and cross cultural sensitivity. Studying and living abroad enables you to gain this experience and can easily be incorporated into your major/curricula. Contact the Study Abroad Office by calling (269) 387-5890.

Meet with a specific major advisor or faculty member

  • Before meeting, make sure you have read the information regarding that major in the WMU catalog. 
  • Ask about potential careers relating to that major.

Declare your major

  • Meet with the advisor from the department in which you want to declare to fill out the necessary paperwork to officially declare your major.  

Printer-friendly version of the checklist

Questions to ask your major advisor

  1. What types of jobs can I get with this major?
  2. Do you have a list of course requirements and prerequisites for this major?
  3. What minor(s) would you suggest that would complement this major?
  4. Do you have names of graduates of this program who would be willing to talk with me about the program and employment opportunities?
  5. I plan to take x number of credit hours per semester. How long will it take me to graduate?
  6. Do you know of any volunteer opportunities in this field?
  7. Are there any registered student organizations (RSOs), honors or professional organizations related to this major that I can get involved with on campus?