Erin Moriarty, Loyola University’s Undergraduate Dean of Admissions, Explains How to Choose the Right Major

When it comes to deciding what your major in college will be, it can be a very stressful experience. Even the most patient students can become frustrated when making a decision. You want to make sure that the program you choose is the right one for you. In this article, Erin Moriarty, Loyola University Chicago‘s Associate Vice President and Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, will explain what you should be focusing on when deciding what major you want.

Choose Based On Your Values and Interests

If you’re going to be working in a field potentially from the day you graduate up until the day you retire, then it should be something that you agree with and are passionate about. When you enjoy learning the material and when it aligns with your values and personal interests, the classes and work that you put into it will be worth it and you won’t feel like you are betraying who you are. Above all else, you should enjoy your major and not simply be good at it.

Don’t Pick It Just Because It’s Easy

Sometimes students will pick a major they think will be easy to study. You shouldn’t do this. It’s one thing to choose one because you think you will be good at it. But please don’t pick a major because you think you will get good grades. Pick something that bolsters your strengths and pushes you to grow instead of focusing on easy classes for straight As. Future employers care more about your breadth of experience, knowledge and critical thinking skills, which are all things you develop during your college experience. Challenging yourself through your major will only benefit you in the future.

Future Job Income Shouldn’t Be the Deciding Factor

Another mistake many students will make is choosing a major entirely based on how much the average income is for related careers. While there is undoubtedly merit to considering your future career, money should never be your only concern when picking a major.

Money isn’t going to buy you happiness. Salary and wages will feel pretty hollow after a while if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing. One of the most important things you can do when choosing a major is picking something you enjoy. There are many jobs out there that are compatible with a variety of different degrees. So you don’t always need to base your career on what you study at university.

You’re Not Locked into What You Choose

So let’s say you followed all these tips, made a decision, and now you’re starting to regret it. That’s completely okay. Choosing a major is stressful for prospective students because they believe they can’t change it later. Fortunately, that isn’t the case. If you want to change your major, no matter how far into a degree you happen to be, your college will work with you to help you make the transition. Academic advisors can guide you so never be afraid to speak up or ask questions if you find yourself unhappy in your current major.

Erin Moriarty, Loyola’s Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, knows choosing a major isn’t easy. But as we’ve now discussed, it doesn’t have to be stressful. Understanding that you don’t have to be stuck in a major and that you have the power to change directions at any time will go a long way towards helping you navigate college.

About Erin Moriarty

Erin Moriarty, Loyola University Chicago’s Associate Vice President and Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, is passionate about students. She believes strongly in Loyola’s mission – to help mold young men and women to become leaders in today’s society and to seek God in all things. Outside of work, Erin can be found participating in Pedal the Cause or biking along the shores of Lake Michigan.