The Most Popular College Major

Do you feel pressured to decide your college major before you enter the hallowed halls of higher education? You (or your parents) are spending a tremendous amount of money on this investment, shouldn’t you at least have a clear focus on your area of study? The answer is ‘no’, you do not need to have established your life’s path before you begin college. In fact, it’s hard for you to reliably pick a college major when you are at a stage where you may not even know all of the possibilities that exist. One important statistic reinforces this theory: the most popular college major among incoming freshmen is "undecided." That’s right, the majority of entering college students agree that they’re not in a position to make this kind of commitment and even among those who do have a major selected, 75% change their minds (and their majors).

Choosing a college is often a function of the academic majors they offer, so if you don’t know what you want, how do you choose a college? The answer lies in knowing yourself. You need to know where your strengths and weaknesses lie, identify your likes and dislikes. Are you more of a big fish, small pond kind of person or would you rather be cheering in a football stadium with 90,000 other people? While you may not have a specific college major in mind, do you know that it will have something to do with science and math or are you evenly split between engineering and history? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you eliminate some places and keep others in the game.

Spend some time thinking about what you enjoy and where your strengths lie. Eliminate what you can, and narrow the list of possibilities as you know them. Often, students select a major once they’ve taken a course that inspires them or done an internship that captures their enthusiasm. Keep an open mind and avoid the often dramatic pressure to make a choice before you are ready.