Can You Change Your Major After Applying To College? (Everything To Know)

This post is all about whether or not you can change your major after applying to college.

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change your major after applying

So you’ve already submitted all of your applications to be an accounting major but now you realize you absolutely hate math?

Don’t freak out! Changing your major after applying is totally fine and actually very easy to do.

Picking a major is overwhelming. You’re basically signing up for what you’re going to be doing for the rest of your life. If you don’t have it all figured out yet, that’s totally okay.

Many college students change their major at least once during their college careers. Some students even decide to remain undecided until halfway through their time in college.

So can you change your major after applying for college? When is it too late to change majors? What are the pros and cons to changing your major? We’ll talk about these questions and more in this article.

Is It Possible To Change Your Major After Applying?

Yes, you can absolutely change your major after applying to college. For most schools, changing your major will be as easy as a quick phone call to the admissions office.

If you’re applying for a general studies program, you can just wait until you’ve decided which college to attend and change then.

They may have you sign some paperwork or it may be as easy as checking a box online. It will depend on your school’s policies but it shouldn’t be difficult at all.

If you’ve already been accepted into a specialized college – the nursing program or business college for example – the process may be a little bit more difficult. You will likely have to go through a separate application process to be accepted into a different program.

However, most students start out their college career in general studies programs so this won’t be an issue for the majority of college applicants.

When Is The Best Time To Change Your Major?

The best time to change your major is during or after your first or second year of college. Freshmen and sophomores are often taking general education classes during their first two years, so you can easily switch majors without falling too far behind.

Don’t worry if you’re later along in your college career, though. It’s never too late to switch your major. Even if you’re in your last semester if college it’s still possible to change your major.

It’s important to keep in mind that changing majors later in your college career can delay your graduation and cost you more money. In most cases, however, it’s better to spend a little more time and money to get the right major for you than to graduate with a major you’re not happy with.

Can You Switch Your Major After Two Years?

Yes, you can change your major after two (or more) years. It’s never too late to switch majors in college.

Your first two years are typically spent taking general education courses and electives, so changing majors won’t have too much of an impact on your graduation timeline.

Your third year of college is generally when you stop taking general education classes and start enrolling in more specific classes for your major. If you change majors as a Junior or Senior, be prepared to spend more time and money getting your degree.

However, don’t let this put you off of switching things up. Taking 5+ years to complete your degree is completely normal and much more common than you may think.

How Do You Tell Your Academic Advisor You Are Changing Majors?

can you change your major after applying to college

Once you’ve decided on a new major, it’s time to have a meeting with your academic advisor to make the change. They’ll help you figure out all of the requirements you need to switch majors and still graduate on schedule.

You don’t need to do anything special before meeting with your advisor. Just tell them that you’re interested in switching and that you would like their help figuring out the best course of action.

If you’re making a big switch, your current advisor may need to refer you to a new advisor within your intended department.

How Many Times Can You Change Majors?

There is no limit to how many times you can change majors in college. Some students will end up changing their majors three or more times before graduating.

In fact, a lot of students remain undecided for their first year or two of college. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to pick the perfect major right away.

If you are in a general studies program, changing your major is a lot easier. Your credits will easily transfer over to your new major. Even if they don’t count towards your class requirements, they will likely still count as elective credits.

However, if you have already been accepted into a specific program, the process may be more difficult.

The Pros And Cons Of Changing Your Major

two students studying on a park bench

The Pros Of Changing Majors

There are several great reasons to change your major. Whether you’re feeling uninspired, unmotivated, or just need a little change, here are some reasons why changing your major may be the solution:

It Allows You To Try Out Different Things

Changing your major gives you the chance to explore your interests. You’ll be able to take different classes and really figure out what you’re interested in and good at.

Trying out different classes gives you new perspectives and will also allow you to meet a wide variety of people. Who knows, you may find a new passion or something you’re secretly amazing at in a new major.

You’ll Feel More Accomplished

If you don’t feel like you’re on the right path anymore, it may be because you need a change. Your college major will set you up for what you’re going to be doing for the rest of your life.

Let’s be honest, you’re going to feel so much more satisfied graduating with a major that you love than one you’re feeling “meh” about.

The Cons Of Changing Majors

Of course, there are some cons to changing your major as well. In most cases, I think the pros outweigh the cons, but it’s still important to know what you’re getting yourself into.

You May Delay Your Graduation Date

If you switch majors later on in your college career, you may find that you need to take additional classes in order to graduate. You’ll likely need to add on another semester or two to accommodate these extra classes.

However, you may be able to take extra classes in the summer or over winter break. That way you can still graduate within your intended timeline.

It Can Cost You More Money

The longer you take to graduate, the more money you end up paying to your school. If you have to tack on another semester or some summer classes, you’ll have to pay for it.

However, it’s important to remember that your degree sets you up for the rest of your adult life. If changing your major will help you get a better job that you enjoy more, it is probably worth the extra money.

Is It Bad To Change Your Major?

Changing your major typically won’t have any negative impact on your resume. In fact, changing your major looks much better than dropping or failing out of courses.

If you’re feeling stuck with your original major, sometimes the best thing you can do is switch to a major that better aligns with your goals.

How Common Is It To Change Your Major?

According to the U.S. Department of Education, around 30% of college students in the United States change their major at least once during the course of their college career.

Some sources have stated that that percentage is more like 80%.

Even more shocking? At least 10% college student changes their major more than once before they graduate.

So if you’re feeling alone in your decision to change your major, just know that you are far from the only student to ever do it. In fact, it’s more common to change your major than to stick with the same one for 4 years.

Final Thoughts On If You Can Change Your Major After Applying

Changing your major is incredibly common in college. If you’ve already applied to schools and want to change your major, often it will just take a quick phone call to do so.

If you’re later along in your college career and want to change your major, that’s totally fine too!

Keep in mind the pros and cons of changing your major. In most cases, it’s a good idea to change your major if you’ve decided on a different career path. The most important thing is that you wind up with a major you love.

This post was all about if you can change your major after applying to college.

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