You're Not Alone
Choosing a major is the No. 1 decision for undergrads, and the prospect can seem overwhelming. Up to 75 percent of students change their major at least once in college.
Luckily, it’s not a choice that needs to be made right away. The University of Arizona offers more than 120 majors and 283 different degrees, but you are only required to choose the one(s) for you sometime before you complete 60 credits or units of education. That's halfway through the 120 credits required to graduate. Many just like you take their first year to learn more about what fits best with their passion and skills.
“You can explore so many different avenues and majors at a large school like Arizona,” says journalism student Rocky Baier, who is news editor of the Daily Wildcat campus newspaper. “There are so many doors that are open to you, right off the bat.”
Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science?
Each major has its unique, specific combination of accredited coursework. Even in the same field, the required courses can differ depending on whether you pursue a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree.
“The difference between a BA and a BS typically involves foundational requirements: more second languages for a BA, and more math for a BS,” says Rachael Ronald, senior director in Academic Advising & Student Engagement in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. “In anthropology, for example, the focus areas for BA students are usually examinations of cultural contexts. For a BS, the concentration requires more of a focus on human biology and general chemistry.”
After graduating, both students would have a degree in Anthropology. However, one could be studying the cultural contexts of pottery while the other examines the molecular makeup of the shards.
Get Help Choosing Your Major
Whether you're just looking for details about class requirements or would like to embark on a larger-scale exploration, UA has the services and tools to help.
- Academic advisors are also available for scheduled one-hour Major Exploration Appointments. Get help identifying your educational and personal interests, skills, values, motivations and goals.
- Career coaching isn’t just for job seekers! The Peer Educators in the Office of Student Engagement & Career Development LifeLab will guide you through activities designed to inspire knowledge and awareness of strengths and skills, as well as majors that might make a good match.
- A 2-unit Major Exploration Workshop course is offered every academic term. Benefit from additional guidance identifying your strengths, values, interests and personal and academic goals. By the end of the semester, you should have developed the tools and knowledge necessary to make an informed decision about your major.
- Every fall, the University hosts a Meet Your Major Fair where advisors and representatives from the Colleges of Letters, Arts and Science are available to answer questions about majors all over campus, including minimum GPA requirements, required courses, and careers directly associated with your major.
Be Open to Opportunities
“I was just starting to learn French when I arrived at Arizona in 2004, and I was really basic at it — I was mostly looking to fill the language requirement,” recalls filmmaker and Arizona graduate Jim Le. “But I had some great classes and wonderful professors. Thanks to my experience at Arizona, I ended up majoring in French, and now, almost 15 years later, I’m fluent, living in Paris with my French husband, and most recently became a naturalized citizen. It goes to show how much college can shape you, make you grow, and take your life in a completely unexpected direction.”