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Major Considerations

Student at work in the library.

If you already have interest in an area of study, start exploring course websites and course descriptions. If you haven’t chosen a major yet, you are not alone.

Choosing a major takes careful thought, research and planning, so consider all possibilities. Don’t rule out a major just because you’re not sure it will lead to a good job. Most majors at Colorado College aren’t necessarily designed to prepare you for a specific job, anyway – they’re preparing you for the job market. By developing transferable skills such as reading, writing, oral communication, researching, and critical thinking, CC prepares students from a breadth of academic niches for the future.

Begin by asking yourself some difficult questions. It is important to be open-minded as you consider them.

What are your interests?

What are your abilities?

What are your values?

What are your motivations?

What are the realities?

If you are finding it difficult to answer these questions, engage in conversations with your faculty advisor and other professors with whom you share a relationship.



1. What are your interests?
Be honest with yourself.

What kinds of activities you enjoy?

If given a choice, would you learn new information by reading, watching TV/Video or talking about the material?

What hobbies do you actively pursue?

Do you enjoy group activities, or do you prefer working alone?

Do you enjoy outdoor activities or being indoors?

Are you interested in science fiction, science fact, or neither?

What courses did you enjoy most in high school? What courses have been most interesting to you here at Colorado College?

Do you enjoy learning foreign languages or learning about diverse cultures?

Do you prefer a more structured or unstructured daily schedule?

When you fantasize about a career, what do you think you would enjoy doing or being?

What kinds of activities are you not interested in, and why?


2. What are your abilities?
Take an objective look at your past performance in scholastic and non-scholastic work.

Do you seem to have a natural talent for helping other people, working with numbers, influencing others, solving problems, using your hands, or organizing activities?

Are you a person who leads well or are you more of a follower?

How strong are your study skills?

How do your college entrance exam scores and high school performance compare to those of other students?

How have others judged your performance in the past?

Have you won scholastic honors or awards for excellence in art, music, sports, or other performance areas?

Are your abilities better suited to handle the work for one particular major over others?


3. What are your values?
Think about the values and principles that are guiding your life.

Do certain religious, philosophical, moral, or ethical beliefs and teachings strongly influence your decisions/choices?

Do you consider service to others to be an important part of your personal philosophy?

Is a broad undergraduate education more important to you than a more narrowly-focused program, or is the opposite true?

To what extent do you value financial security?

Where do you stand politically?

What are your moral values?

What place does a family have in your future?

What might you have to give up or compromise in order to study a particular major?

Will your values match the requirements and outcomes of a potential major or career?


4. What are your motivations?
Ask yourself why you might be considering a particular major.

For what do you have a passion?

Why did you choose to attend CC?

Do your strongest motivations come from your interests, your abilities, your values, or from some other factors?

Are outside pressures (from family, peers, or the job market) shaping and influencing your decisions?

Are you thinking about choosing a major because you believe it will be easy, because it is what somebody else said you "should" do, or because you think you could ensure a good job and earn a high salary?

Would your motivation be strong enough to allow you to succeed in a major even if other factors seemed to direct you away from that major?


5. What are the realities?
Consider what situations in your life have a strong, overriding influence on your choice.

Do your interests, abilities, values, and motivations conflict with each other or are they in agreement?

[Sometimes students are very interested in a major but find that they do not have the abilities to handle the academic demands of the required courses. On the other hand, some students have considerable abilities in a particular area but do not have any real interest in studying that topic. And sometimes students have both interests and abilities in an area but find that the realities of the job market are such that they are not willing to risk a four year (or more) investment of time and money on a major that appears to lead to bleak employment chances.]

What other realities might you face in choosing your major?

How much extra time will it take to graduate if you have already completed a significant number of credits that cannot be applied to a major?

Is your choice of major a realistic one?