These days it seems as though there are more subjects than ever that you can study at college. That’s great in terms of broadening education and offering people a wider variety of career paths, but it can make it tricky to narrow down which program is the best one for you. To help you avoid any decision paralysis and feel confident that you’ve chosen the right option, here are four statements to consider. If you agree with each one, that’s a strong indication that you’ve found the perfect program.
You’re passionate about the subject
In order to sustain your motivation throughout the whole of your degree, it’s vital that you’re genuinely interested in the subject you’ve chosen. That means you enjoy reading about it in your spare time, talking about it with others, and thinking about it in depth. Don’t pick a major simply because your friends are taking it, or your parents want you to study it – this is sure to lead to boredom and burnout. After all, you’re the one who will be doing the reading, research, essays and exams! Getting good grades will be far easier if you’re passionate about the subject.
You meet the entry requirements
One key aspect you must consider is simply whether you meet the entry requirements for the subject you’re considering. Each program will have its own rules about the grades you need and the subjects you must have studied – for example, if you want to major in engineering then you’ll probably need a background in science and math. In addition, different colleges will set different academic standards, so check the admission requirements and GPA for Notre Dame and other institutions to see where you stand a good chance of being accepted.
The subject matches your career goals
It’s all well and good to choose a major that you’re passionate about, but you also need to make sure that it aligns with what you want to do after graduation. Think about the career you’re hoping to have, and check that the qualification you’ve chosen will get you there. It can help to set some clear goals, and then find out what the educational requirements are to achieve them. You can do this by looking at job descriptions, reading recommendations from people currently working in the field, and chatting to your high school careers adviser.
The curriculum fascinates you
In many cases, choosing a major is not enough – you need to find the specific programs that best suit your needs. Most colleges have their own specialisms even within the same field, which means that the individual modules you study can differ quite widely from one institution to the next. For instance, if you want to study history, then you need to make sure you pick a curriculum that allows you to focus on the periods that interest you the most or are relevant to your career aspirations – whether that’s Mesopotamia or America during World War II. If you’re not yet sure which specific part of your subject area you want to concentrate on, opt for a more generalized program to keep your options open.