When and How to Declare Your Major

Mariel MooreJun 1st, 2021

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Moving from high school to college can be intimidating, even if you’ve built up your college credit through dual enrollment or AP courses, deciding to declare your major can still invoke anxiety in many college students. The good news is that most students entering college or early in their college careers have time to figure out a major.

When you'll declare your major

Generally, college students do not need to pick a major until they have completed quite a bit of general education (to make your bachelor’s degree more well-rounded) credits. Usually these more low-level general credits make up around 60 of the ninety credits in a bachelor’s degree. However, if you end up choosing to declare a very specific major (like pre-med or a more technical field) you may need more specialized credits than say an English major.

If you want to see the types of general education courses that fit into many different majors, be sure to check out this previous post from our team on the credit breakdown of a bachelor’s degree.  And, if you get to the end of your general education courses and you still don’t have an idea of what you want to do, then, there are some general majors that lend themselves to lots of different career paths. It might be a good idea to pick one of those. Many (maybe even most!) students do just that.

Take a logical approach to declare your major

According to Cairn University, “Many freshmen enter college undeclared and even those who think they know what they want to study end up changing their minds.”  The experts at Cairn advise students to think about general areas they may want to pursue after college and try to choose an area of study that fits with those goals. For example, if you think you might want to do some sort of social work or have an interest in the human mind or human behavior, psychology might be a good general degree to pursue. And, if you really have no idea and you want some flexibility in your class choices, than a liberal arts/interdisciplinary studies degree could be your ticket to ride. 


Accelerated Pathways is a great choice for those who are undecided. We offer personalized degree pathways that are guaranteed to transfer into your school and degree of choice and we have one-on-one academic advisors to help you understand your options. Learn about the most popular majors and take a step towards your degree by speaking with our student counselors.


If you’re looking for the most popular majors across the United States that are a good general bet, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, they include things like: 

  • Business

  • Health professions

  • Social sciences/history

  • Psychology

Finally, if you are still unsure, it’s always a good idea to look at what worked for you in high school. What subjects made you the most excited? What subjects came to you more easily? Those may lead you down a path towards an area where you can really make a difference in your life and perhaps the lives of others.


To learn more about Pearson Accelerated Pathways or to book some time to speak with our higher education experts, reach out to us today

Mariel Moore

Mariel is a writer, content strategist and marketer. Besides educational topics, she's also covered content on consumer trends, healthcare and wellness. Mariel has a knack for booking cheap travel and when she's not working, you just might find her searching for the best flights to Europe.