Choosing a Major

Choosing a major is an important step in your academic career. You should give yourself ample time to explore majors and the program offerings of Harpur College. In doing so, you should consider how a program of study will complement your interests, proficiencies, goals, and career aspirations. There are many tools and services available to you when making the decision. Read through this guide to learn more about this important step, and how you can move closer to making a decision.

Step 1: Explore!  

  • Check out the list of degree programs Binghamton has to offer

  • Read through the Bulletin or the department homepages in order to get an idea of what the requirements for each major are.

  • Attend one of the Harpur Advising workshops held every semester to help students find their passion or understand how to connect a liberal arts major to a certain career field (business, communications, education, social work, etc).  
  • You may want to try taking a First Year Experience Course (HARP 101 or HARP 102/UNIV 102). These courses assist students to transition to college life and introduce you to explore campus resources as well as potential majors.

  • The Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development has a great website with many resources that can help you explore possible majors and career fields. There is also a section called "What do I do with my major" that provides possible jobs, transferable skills and other resources for every Binghamton major. 

  • Stay informed on B-Engaged about major and career exploration workshops that happen throughout the semester.

Step 2: Talk to people!

  • Harpur Advisor: Talk to a Harpur Advisor  about your ideas and how you might try introductory courses to explore these areas of interest.

  • Career Consultant: Talk to the Career Consultant about what your career interests are and how that might relate to a major.  The Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development have many resources available to help you reflect on your interests and passions, as well as your strengths.

  • Major Advisor/Undergraduate Program Director: Talk to the Advisor or the Program Director in your area of interest to discuss the nature of the program, how you can complete the major, and any questions you might have.

  • Harpur Peer Advisors: We encourage you to ask knowledgeable students about their experience when creating a degree plan. We also have some exceptional programs on campus that put you in touch with knowledgeable peers in a more formal way.

Step 3: Try it out!

Take an introductory class in your areas of interest.  See if you like it!   Use the Curriculum to Your Advantage. The General Education Program provides exposure to broad areas of learning. These requirements provide a general introduction to the Harpur College curriculum and can provide a basis for choosing a major or program of study. Focus on your strengths and proficiencies as you pursue your General Education Requirements. Remember, your General Education requirements will overlap with your major or Harpur College requirements, so there is generally no need to be concerned about time constraints. The broad curriculum is intentionally and thoughtfully designed to be a developmental decision-making tool.. If you enjoy these classes, you may decide to declare a major or minor in this area. If not, you can explore other areas that may also be of interest to you.

Next Steps:

If you decide to declare a major or minor, you will do that in the department. Consult the department homepage to see if there are any special instructions on how to declare or prerequisite courses required before you are allowed to declare. Some departments will allow you to declare online, while others will require you to fill out a form and return it to the department office.

**Remember**

You are able to change your major. Be sure to consult with Harpur Advising to see how a change of major will affect your overall degree plan and possible graduation date.

Last Updated: 3/2/17