Exploring Majors

Graphic by Astrid Hernandez | Mercury Staff


If you’re unsure about your major, UTD has an advising wing dedicated just for you! The Exploratory Advising Office, working in tandem with other campus centers, offers a range of services to help students choose a major.

Whether you are going into college undeclared or are simply uncertain about what you can do with your major, the first step to unpuzzling these concerns is to schedule a meeting with Eric Welgehausen, the Associate Director Academic Advising. Based on your specific situation, he will then suggest one of the various services offered by the Exploratory Advising Office: Academic Advising, Career Advising, and ISIS 4V89.

Career Advising: The Career Center offers aptitude tests, career counseling, and resume critiques, to name a few of their services.

  • Take the Focus 2 Assessment: This personality test can be self-administered to give you a better understanding of your strengths and possible careers that cater to those interests.
  • Speak with a Career Consultant. There are career consultants assigned to each school whose goal is to give you a better understanding of where each major can take you and how to best utilize the resources offered by UTD.
  • YouScience: If you are interested in science, this platform reconciles your natural talent and aptitudes with possible career pathways and post-secondary options. To take this assessment, reach out to a Career Consultant.

Academic Advising: Every student is assigned an academic advisor who helps you schedule classes and organize a degree plan.

  • Undeclared students have more freedom to try out classes in a range of disciplines while completing their core requirements. They also meet with Welgehausen more often to narrow down their interests.
  • If you have declared a major, but wish to explore another area of interest, speak with your advisor about using elective credits. For example, if you have majored in psychology, but are also interested in sociology, take some introductory sociology classes to see if it is a better fit for you.
  • Note that if you are transferring in credits (for example from AP Test Scores), the amount of time you have to explore is reduced. Undergraduate students must declare a major by the time they have earned 54 semester credit hours (junior year).

ISIS 4V89: This spring semester elective class helps students dig deeper into possible career fields and how to be successful in them.

  • This class usually consists of freshman and sophomores, with 15 to 20 students in total.
  • There is more extensive aptitude testing in this class, recruiters are brought in to speak to the students, and the class helps students assess what majors will help them work toward their career interests.

Each semester, the Exploratory Advising Office works with Student Affairs and the Sophomore Transition Office, and the Career Center holds a majors presentation to help rising sophomores evaluate their first year and what steps to take next regarding major and career planning.

In addition to the above resources, getting involved in clubs and organizations will help you connect with students in several majors and expose you to new ideas, skills and interests.

It’s okay to feel apprehensive about your major and what the next four years and beyond will look like. College is a unique environment with a sometimes overwhelming amount of new experiences, from living away from home to rigorous classes and making friends. However, taking advantage of the above resources can provide clarity in this influential phase of change.