Choosing a Major

Discover, Discern, Declare

Overhead photo of Seattle University students sitting on the quad surrounded by chalk drawings

We're Here to Help

The choice of a major can sometimes be overwhelming. But, it can also be very exciting! If you are undecided about your major, you’re in good company. Academic Pathways Advising is one of the largest programs at Seattle University and works with students who:

  • Have no idea what they want to do.
  • Want to do everything.
  • Are in a major they no longer want.
  • Want to explore all their options first.

First of All, What is a Major?

The purpose of an undergraduate degree is to provide individuals with a broad base of skills that you may then apply in a career. Within your degree, you’ll narrow your focus to a specific field of study. What major you choose is a personal decision that should take into consideration your interests, skills, values, and abilities. It should fit with your personal and professional goals.

It’s important to understand that choosing a major in a specific area does not mean you will end up working in that field and visa versa. If you know what academic subjects interest you, you might want to make the decision of a major first. However, if you have a career direction or a professional goal, you can explore which major(s) will best prepare you for that field. Professions that are more technical in nature (such as engineering or medicine) will require you to complete specific educational requirements to work in such fields.

Selecting one major does not mean that you have ruled out all the other choices. There are a variety of ways for you to combine interests. You could choose to minor in another discipline or select a double major or double degree. And there’s always graduate school.

One word of caution: do not choose to double major just to make your self more “marketable.” Focusing your education on your personal interests or on a specific educational or professional goal will make you appear more decisive to any future employer.

There’s no single proven approach to selecting a major. Keep in mind that choosing a major is a process of self-growth and discovery. You must become actively involved in this decision-making process. We’re here to guide and inform that process, but the work belongs to you!

Contact us

Advisors are available to meet with you virtually or in-person by appointment. During your first year at SU, we require you to meet with us at least once per quarter but encourage you to come in more often. Once you are in your second year, your advising process becomes more self-directed.