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Consequences of Changing Majors

by Marie Anderson

According to CollegeBoard.org, most college students change majors at least once, and some even change their minds several times. Choosing a major is an important step, and changing your mind about your major can have both positive and negative consequences. Students should always consult with an academic advisor on their campus if they are considering switching majors.

Lose Valuable Time

Some majors may require more hours of credit than others and include many prerequisite courses. CollegeBoard.org states that majors such as engineering and design fall into this category. Declaring a major when you start college can save you a lot of time if you start taking prerequisite classes right away. Deciding that you want to major in one of these subjects after your freshmen year can mean that it could take additional time to finish your degree.

Costs Money

Most students will declare a major their sophomore year, but changing it later on can mean that you took classes you really didn't need to graduate. If you don't need these courses for your new major, you will lose the credits and will not get a refund. In addition, according to Dr. Fritz H. Grupe, manager of MyMajors.com and a professor at the University of Nevada, changing majors can also mean losing scholarships if they were tied to a particular field of study.

Better GPA

If you chose a difficult major and are finding that the classes and concepts are just too advanced for you, changing your major to something else can be beneficial and have positive consequences. "U.S News and World Report" states that majors typically have 10 to 12 required classes, so continuing with a major that you are struggling with, or even failing at, can hurt your GPA and chances for graduation.

Your Major Isn't Everything

Students should choose majors they are interested in and will take them towards their desired career path. If this means that you are no longer interested in what you originally chose, there is nothing wrong with switching to something you are passionate about. According to the advising center at Middle Tennessee State University, three to five years after graduation, about half of college graduates are working in fields outside of their majors. They also report that in a lifetime, people may hold up to 10 jobs and change their career three times on average.

About the Author

Houston area native Marie Anderson began writing education articles in 2013. She holds a Bachelor of Science in exercise and sports science and a Master of Science in education administration. She has seven years of teaching and coaching experience within the Texas public school system.

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