The Major Decision
Many students begin their college education with a declared major. These students vary in how certain they are about their choice. There are students who have known for many years that this is the path they want to pursue in order to reach their educational and career goals, while there are others who are not so sure.
Students Questioning Selected Major
For those of you who are uncertain about the major you selected, don’t worry. There is time to figure out if the major is right for you. Before you go any further, ask yourself the following questions:
How much do I know about my intended major?
If you think you do not have enough information, now is the time to do some research. Get more information by reading books, browsing the internet, by talking to friends who are in college and individuals who are in the career field that interests you, etc.
How much time have I spent in activities related to my intended major?
Have you read books, participated in workshops, attended lectures, or participated in volunteer activities related to the major? These types of activities can help expose you to what the major has to offer.
If you feel like you have enough information about the major, consider four important factors to help you determine if the major is right for you. These factors – your interests, abilities, values and motives – play an important role in successfully choosing a major. If you are uncertain about your major, consider the following questions:
- What are your interests?
- What are your abilities?
- What are your values?
- What’s your motivation?
When considering a possible major, it is important that you also reflect on the following question:
Resources for Making your Decision
- What’s the reality? Is the major you are considering a realistic choice for you? Reflect on your thoughts to the questions presented in this section to help you answer the question above. Do the answers to the questions conflict with one another, or are they in agreement? At times, students are very interested in a major but find they do not have the abilities or motivation to handle the academic demands of the major. The opposite can also occur. Consider other factors in your life to determine what goals are realistic for you. Take some time to reflect – What’s the reality?
If you want to know more about Majors or Minors at USF, check out the following resources.
- USF General Catalog listing all Majors and Minors. Scroll down to “Undergraduate Programs at USF".
- What Can I Do with this Major?
- NEW! Check out Let Simon Decide , a website to assist you in your major decision-making process. Please contact Shona Doyle, (firstname.lastname@example.org , (415) 422-2870), in the College of Arts and Sciences Dean's office, to go over your results!
- Career Services Center: UC 5th Floor -- 422-6216
- Resume Writing/Interview Practice
- Assessment Tests
- USF Pre-Professional Health Committee
Harney, Room 359
Phone: (415) 422-2354
Mary Jane Niles, Chair, Pre-Professional Health Committee
The Pre-Professional Health Committee (PPHC) serves to guide and recommend students to professional health schools, primarily medical and dental schools, but including pharmacy, optometry, veterinary medicine and podiatry. Most professional schools either prefer or require a committee recommendation. While the PPHC is optional, it is in the student's best interest to use the PPHC. A student may complete the pre-medical or other pre-health science requirements as a part of, or in addition to, the requirements of the academic major. Thus, a "pre-med" is fulfilling specific course work required or recommended by professional health schools while completing an academic major. It is important that the academic major first reflect a student's general interest and curiosity, since a student may decide not to pursue a health career. All majors in the College of Arts and Sciences have sufficient program flexibility for students to fulfill course requirements for pre-professional health programs. The following courses are normally the minimal program requirements. However, it is important that each student study the catalogs of professional health science schools for any variance in requirements.
The science course requirements for medical (including podiatry), dental, pharmacy, and veterinary schools, and almost all allied health programs vary little for the lower division courses:
- General Biology, two semesters, lecture/lab
- General Chemistry, two semesters, lecture/lab
- General Physics, two semesters, lecture/lab (may be non-Calculus based courses)
- Organic Chemistry, two semesters, lecture/lab
- Biochemistry, 3 units, lecture
- Other highly recommended courses include: Analytical Chemistry (required for pharmacy schools), Calculus (at least one semester strongly recommended by most schools), Genetics, Cell Physiology, Human Anatomy and Physiology.
Additional Pre-Health Websites
- Pre-Law Advising Program
Phone: (415) 422-6349 or 6861 or 2910
Brian Weiner, Faculty Coordinator
Robert Elias, Director
Kerry Donoghue, Program Assistant (415) 422-2910
The Pre-Law Committee, made up of professors from various University departments, is designed primarily to aid undergraduates either considering a career in law or seeking information about such a career. The Committee provides up-to-date information about the legal profession and its educational requirements through personal counseling by faculty in, or acquainted with, the legal profession. Undergraduates are assisted in preparing for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The Committee works in close conjunction with the Law School Admission Services (LSAS) and with USF's School of Law.
- Education, Dual Degree in Teacher Preparation Program