Freshman: Choosing a Major

Western Carolina University, along with any other university, stress for students to choose a major as soon as possible. However, with endless careers, classes to complete and papers to write, choosing a major may be the last thing on some student’s minds. A few things to keep in mind are the services offered at WCU to make choosing a major a little less confusing and frustrating. A trip to Career Services on the second floor of the Killian Annex building will start the process of figuring out which major fits a student best. There, students can either talk to a career service staff member or take a test that will explore the different interests and areas in which a student may be interested. Free pallets are provided that cover all majors on campus and give a short description of what jobs are associated with that area. A more direct way of researching a major are the career counselors. By making an appointment with a counselor, students have a one-on-one session about a student’s interest, skills and abilities. A counselor may also provide a vocational test to determine a possible major for the student. Another place to find information on any major provided on campus, are the department websites. Each department, regardless of the department, have websites that explain their major. These sites will explain what courses are required for that major, possible careers and faculty to contact for extra information. Sites will also give information about training, degrees or experience that may also be required. When preparing for any job, experience can be a key to being hired. Western offers help in finding jobs for work-study and non work-study students, either on or off campus. Non work-study jobs are available through Western departments and are easier to obtain at the beginning of each semester. Jobs are posted as the departments need them. Work-study jobs are through the Financial Aid Office and are paid for through financial aid. Many local employers also post jobs and need students to work during the semester and summer. Throughout the year Western is host to many career fairs for specific majors. During the career fairs, students can talk to actual employers, recruitment officers or have a job interview. Even though these fairs are directed more towards the upper classman, anyone can attend and talk to future employers. Various majors involved are Physical Therapy, Construction Management and Allied Health and Nursing. Before choosing a major, many students finish some of their liberal studies courses first, in order to explore various fields. The liberal studies explore English, history, communication and writing, to name a few. Since finishing the liberal studies can take roughly two years, students have time to research a major or explore possible interests. However, by the end of a student’s sophomore year, students are stressed to declare a major in order to graduate within four years. After entering into a major, contact the new advisor and set an appointment to learn more about the major. Staying in contact with an advisor helps when choosing future classes or deciding on whether or not that major fits those best. More information and job postings can be located at: