Getting Started

You need a major – now what? Become familiar with the available options and take stock of what is most important to you (i.e., “Having a major that I really enjoy studying is more important than taking a major that will lead to a specific profession”, or “Having a major that allows flexibility in course selection and leaves room for a minor is more important than studying abroad”). Also, be aware of how much time you reasonably have before you must make a decision and commit to a major. Here are a few things you can do to get started:

Look at the list of undergraduate majors

Print out the list of undergraduate majors and cross off the ones you know you’re not interested in. If you can narrow it from over 150 down to 10 or 20, you’ve really accomplished something. Follow the links for information about the remaining majors, including admission and graduation requirements, to further investigate. Also, take a look at some of the courses offered and required for a major to see if you are interested in them.

Is the complete list of majors too daunting? Try reviewing the list broken down by thematic groups and topics.

Talk with an undecided major advisor

Since they are familiar with all of the majors USC offers, undecided advisors can, among other things, help you compare majors and get started in the right direction. They can also serve as a great partner in your overall process of choosing a major. There are undecided major advisors in Academic Counseling Services (STU 300, 213-740-1741).

Assess your academic strengths

Some majors at USC have competitive admission. Do you do well in coursework required by majors that interest you? Your chances for success at USC are greatly enhanced if you choose a subject you enjoy and do well in. This is one reason (there are others) you shouldn’t postpone taking math and science courses if you are considering science or engineering majors. You need to discover early on whether you enjoy these subjects and do well in them in college.

Next step… Exploration