Selecting a Major

Selecting a Major

Every student has unique priorities, interests, experiences, and skills. The way you arrive at a decision about a major may be different from how your friends make their decisions. If you’re not sure yet or have changed your mind, know that you’re in good company: According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 30% of college students across the U.S. change their major at least once! You have lots of support available at UVA to help you make a decision that makes sense for you.

What if I’m not sure what I want to major in? How do I decide?

The UVA Career Center offers lots of resources to help you explore your interests and goals and connect these to a major. Some of these resources are online and you can access them any time. You can also make an appointment or visit drop-in hours with peer or professional staff to get personalized advice.  

Another good source of information is your academic advisor. All schools also have a central student services office that can provide advice and information. You can find a list of these offices and locations here.

Where can I get information about a specific major?

The Undergraduate Record shows information about requirements for each major. You can also check with the program director for each major. This person is often a faculty member called the Director of Undergraduate Programs (DUP) or Director of Undergraduate Studies. They can answer questions about the types of classes you will take, unique opportunities the department offers, and what recent graduates often do after graduation.

The College of Arts and Sciences keeps a list of DUPs on this site. In the other schools, this person’s name can be found on the website for that department. If the major you are interested in is outside of your current school, (e.g. you are an Engineering student interested in switching to the Architecture school) then read this page on switching schools first.)