Exploring Other Majors While on Campus

A lot of people decide when they get to college that the major they thought they wanted isn’t for them. In fact, according to our Division of General Studies, over 50% of college students will change their major at least one time. And that’s okay! College exposes you to many different classes and things to learn, more than most high schools have to offer. Luckily, once you’re here, it’s pretty easy to change your mind on what you want to study. Here are some ways to make sure you’re getting the most variety in your learning experience at Illinois.

Take advantage of gen eds.

Illinois requires all students to take certain classes to fill general education requirements. Whether it be Quantitative Reasoning or Cultural Studies, there are many different sections you must take classes in to graduate. However, unlike high school, there are many different options to fill these requirements. There isn’t just one “Social Studies” class; there’s a huge amount of classes focusing on many times in history.

These classes are your chance to look for something that you might like. Whether you are undecided or considering changing your major, these classes are a great way to get out of your comfort zone, or even find it. For my science requirements, I found and was able to take two weather classes that I loved. Even if you are not changing your major to whatever classes you take as gen eds, it’s a great way to broaden your horizons and make sure you are in the major you like.

Read up.

You don’t have to be in a class for a particular major to be thinking about wanting to study it. Illinois provides a ton of information on each major so that prospective students can see what they will be studying as a student of that college and major. Each field of study has a description and a list of classes that you have to take to graduate.

From a Dance major to a Biochemistry major, Illinois has information on all of them. You can also look up the website of the college that your major is in for even more detailed information. For example, my major, Journalism, has its own entire page on the College of Media’s website. There is so much information online for you to discover what you want to learn, and Illinois makes it pretty easy to find.

Talk to an advisor.

From the second you accept your offer to Illinois, you are assigned someone to help you with essentially everything you will ever deal with on campus. Your advisor is here to help you through and through no matter what the problem. When exploring other options, your advisor can be your biggest help. Advisors are familiar with every college on campus and can tell you the ins and outs of most of the majors on the campus.

They can give you all the technical information and their opinion on what you should do. They will guide you through the required classes you have to take to switch and help you through the application process. For all of the technical processes for switching majors, your advisor is a great resource to reach out to.

College is a time for change. Your hobbies and interests may change drastically in the new environment, and the school is here to support that. There is so much information to be gathered in the classes here and so many interesting topics to explore. I hope this info will help guide you into what you truly love and want to learn here at Illinois.


Class of 2023
I am a sophomore studying Advertising on a Pre-Law track. I’m from Park Ridge, Illinois, about 30 minutes outside of Chicago. I've loved getting involved on campus through my job at Campus Recreation and participating in Greek Life. UIUC is my second home, and I think it should be yours, too!

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