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Services to help you choose a major

During your first year in college it is perfectly acceptable to be a deciding student, one who is in the process of choosing a major. This allows you to be open to all possibilities and to explore options. After all, that is what a liberal arts education is all about!

As a deciding student, you are not alone. Up to 50 percent of incoming college freshmen don't know what they are going to major in, and many more will change their minds as underclass students. Although you are invited to consider all of your options, we recognize that choice of major remains a source of concern for students and that it actually ranks in the top three concerns verbalized by college freshmen. So, what can the Office of Career Services do to help?

Career counseling

Make an appointment with a career specialist to discuss your options. Call (573) 875-7425 or stop by Missouri Hall Room 219; email

Career assessments

You may take the FOCUS2 (Career Guidance System). The assessment is online and free to all students. You will need to contact career services at (573) 875-7425 or to obtain the access code.

Career link

When exploring occupations, it is often very helpful to contact Columbia College alumni for information and networking purposes. Contact a career specialist for more information
(573) 875-7425 or email 

Tips on choosing a major

  1. Talk to people with majors that interest you.
  2. Take courses in possible areas of interest. How do you feel in those classes (comfortable or like an alien)? Do you have anything in common with your classmates in the class?
  3. Visit departments of interest and make appointments with the chairs. Are the professors student-oriented? Ask fellow students how they feel about the professors.
  4. Come to the Career Services office to see how alumni have implemented their majors in the working world.
  5. Review the catalog. Do the courses in majors you are considering look like the kind of classes that you would enjoy?
  6. Explore/investigate different careers/fields through informational interviewing, Career Services activities and career library resources.
  7. Get to know yourself better through Career Services activities, like vocational inventories.
  8. You can always change your mind! In fact, most underclass students change their mind at least once (and sometimes twice).
  9. Your major often does not dictate your career choices. You have four years to prepare yourself for a career choice by supplementing your major with career-related internships and supporting coursework.

Ask yourself these questions

  1. What do you want to read and learn about for the next four years?
  2. What was your favorite subject in high school?
  3. What kinds of classes came naturally for you?
  4. Have teachers, friends or family members encouraged you to look at certain majors because of something they know about you?
  5. What homework assignments do you complete first?
  6. What kind of assignments do you prefer to do -- papers, presentations, labs, etc.?
  7. How do you learn best -- through lectures, small group work, discussions or hands-on application?


Apply now