Deciding Your Major

Did you know one in four WSU students are still deciding on a major?

If you are struggling to select a major, the advisors at the Warrior Success Center are here to help.

This process is designed to help students like you gain the information and confidence needed to choose a major: 

Complete a Self-Assessment 

Getting to know yourself is an important first step in deciding a major. Find out how to uncover your interests, strengths, and values, and how these can help you select a major that fits you best.

You can start by talking to people who know you best. They may have a great sense of the majors and careers that would be rewarding to you, and where you might do well. 

Focus specifically on you and not a family “tradition” or parent’s dream. Discuss what makes you unique and how that could translate to your academic major and career path. 

There are plenty of ways to learn about yourself, and you can start today with free online assessments. 

Focus 2 is an hour-long survey that offers 5 assessments on:

  • work interests
  • leisure interests
  • personality
  • skills
  • values

This can help narrow down your major options.

To get started, create an account for the Focus 2 website

  • Use the access code “warrior”
  • Select the group “Warrior Success Center”
  • If you are taking Focus 2 for an Orientation 100 class, select the group that matches your OR section

When you are done, set up an appointment with an advisor  in the Warrior Success Center and we will help you understand your results.

If you’ve already tried Focus 2 and met with an advisor, there are some other assessments you could explore.

Visit the Warrior Success Center in Maxwell 314 or call at 507.457.5878 to discuss these options:

  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): Take the most widely used personality assessment to get insights on majors well suited for you
  • StrengthsQuest: Learn your top 5 talents and how to select a major that aligns with your strengths
  • Strong Interest Inventory (SII): Find out your interests and discover the majors and careers that align well with those interests

Prefer a paper and pencil approach?

Try the Deciding Your Major Worksheet (PDF) to jump start your major and career exploration.

Explore Majors 

It’s hard to choose a major when you don’t know what your options are, or what each major is all about. There are many ways to find which programs interest you.

Attend the Major and Career Exploration Fair

Each October, Winona State hosts a Major and Career Exploration Fair

This event is a one-stop-shop for students to meet with faculty members, students, and alumni who represent the wide variety of majors and minors offered at WSU. 

Try an Intro Class for the Major

If you are not sure about whether a major may be a good fit, why not try out a course? Many majors offer introductory-level classes that also count toward the general education program (GEP). 

Since you must take gen eds anyway, why not use them to help you pick your major?

While it’s not part of the GEP, the course CE 200 – Career and Life Decision Making can be a great tool to help you decide. 

Potential MajorCourseGeneral Education Requirement
Accounting ACCT 211 - Financial Accounting PrinciplesDoes not fulfill a General Education category
Athletic TrainingHERS 191 - Intro to Athletic TrainingDoes not fulfill a General Education category
BiologyBIOL 241 - Basics of LifeSatisfies Goal 3
BiologyBIOL 242 - Organismal DiversitySatisfies Goal 3
BusinessBUSA 270 - Business and SocietySatisfies Goal 9
Communication StudiesCMST 282 - Intro to Communication StudiesSatisfies Goal 5
Computer ScienceCS 101 - Exploring Creative ComputingSatisfies Goal 4
Criminal JusticeSOC 210 - Crime & Justice in AmericaSatisfies Goal 9
EngineeringCME 102 - Intro to EngineeringDoes not fulfill a General Education category.
EnglishENG 120 - Intro to LiteratureSatisfies Goal 6a
EnglishENG 211 - Writing in CommunitiesSatisfies Goal 9
EnglishENG 220 - Multicultural American LiteratureSatisfies Goals 6a & 7
EnglishENG 222 - Introduction to Creative WritingSatisfies Goal 6b
FinanceFIN 201 - Intro to FinanceDoes not fulfill a General Education category.
GeoscienceGEOS 102 - Resources of The EarthSatisfies Goal 10
GeoscienceGEOS 103 - Natural DisastersSatisfies Goal 3 & 10
GeoscienceGEOS 105 - Astronomy with LabSatisfies Goal 3
GeoscienceGEOS 106 - AstronomySatisfies Goal 3
Global StudiesGS 200 - Intro to Global StudiesSatisfies Goal 8 & 10
Law and SocietyHIST 101 - Intro to Law and SocietyDoes not fulfill a General Education category.
Legal StudiesLGLS 101 - Intro to American LawSatisfies Goals 6a & 9
MarketingMKTG 100 - Marketing and SocietySatisfies Goal 9
Mass CommunicationMCOM 100 - Mass Media and SocietySatisfies Goal 9
Mathematics & StatisticsMATH 120 - Precalculus Satisfies Goal 4
Mathematics & StatisticsMATH 212 - Calculus ISatisfies Goal 4
Mathematics & StatisticsSTAT 210 - StatisticsSatisfies Goal 4
Nursing or Health CareNURS 120 - Intro to the Health ProfessionsDoes not fulfill a General Education category.
Political SciencePOLS 120 - Intro to American PoliticsSatisfies Goal 5 & 9
PsychologyPSY 210 - Intro to Psychological ScienceSatisfies Goal 5
Recreation & Tourism or Therapeutic Recreation (RTTR)RTTR 229 - Foundations of Recreation & Leisure StudiesDoes not fulfill a General Education category.
Social WorkSOC 150 - Intro to SociologySatisfies Goal 5 & 7
Social Work PSY 210 - Intro to Psychological ScienceSatisfies Goal 5
Social WorkPSY 250 - Developmental PsychologySatisfies Goal 5
SociologySOC 150 - Intro to SociologySatisfies Goal 5 & 7
Special EducationSPED 300 - Children and Youth with ExceptionalitiesDoes not fulfill a General Education category

Explore Careers 

Maybe you have a major and want to learn more about possible careers, or perhaps knowing about careers could help you pick your major. Either way, defining career goals is a step in the right direction. 

Some degree programs prepare you to succeed in a variety of roles, while others train you for a specific career pathway. 

Explore Careers Options

Evaluate Your Options

Now that you have done your research, it’s time to narrow your choices and make your decision.

Declare Your Major

Congrats! You’ve chosen a major. Now it’s time to make it official.

Complete the Declaration Form

Students use the Declaration/Change of Major Form to declare or change a major or minor. 

Once the declaration form request has been processed, you will receive an email notification and your DARS report in Student eServices will change to reflect your new program(s).

Watch for Your New Advisor Assignment

Within a week of submitting your declaration online, a faculty advisor from your new academic program will be assigned. Once this is complete, you will see the name of your new advisor in your DARS report in Student eServices.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

This is not really a step, but it is worth saying that you may still not be 100% sure about your major at this point. That is totally normal. 

Chances are very good that you will love your new program, but students do sometimes change their minds for a variety of reasons. 

If you find yourself here in the future, officially changing your major is as simple as completing a new Declaration/Change of Major form. 

Contact Advising Services
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Maxwell 314

Academic Year: Mon-Fri: 8am-4:30pm

Summer Hours: Mon-Fri: 7:30am-4pm