Applying to Colleges Based on Your Major

Many factors will contribute to your thought process when you select colleges to which you may apply. Not all students will know what they might like to study in college, but those who do may decide to apply to certain colleges based on their prospective majors.

There are certain benefits involved in selecting colleges with your major in mind, and in many cases, you may indicate your desired field of study on your initial application. Doing this may offer your application a competitive edge over the slew of other “undecided” or “undeclared” applicants. This offers the college or university a chance to see where you will fit with the existing school community or academic department.

In applying to colleges based on your major, you provide yourself with a little extra insurance regarding your academics and future career. Certain schools have advantages over others in specific fields in the form of resources, real-world business connections, alumni associations, internship opportunities, proximity to field professionals and offices, equipment, materials, and faculty and staff. For example, a school in closer proximity to Wall Street may have a stronger network of professional alumni in the business field or a credible internship program with Wall Street corporations. Conversely, if your interests lie in agricultural technology or farming, the busy New York City streets can offer much fewer resources than a school in a farming community.

As the greatest intention of college is to prepare students for their intended careers with hands-on training, experience, and actual scenarios, applying to colleges that can offer you the most potential resources and assistance is an especially smart idea.

Where to Start

If you’re already sure of your college field of study, you can use this to narrow your search as you start wading through the sea of schools you might consider. If your field has an industrial “hub” of sorts in a specific region, you might begin by focusing your search there. Additionally, schools are aware of and celebrate their strengths in academics, so websites and representatives of colleges you’re particularly interested in can help you determine how well students in your major do with their facilities. Online college research tools will also yield many results as well, so long as you consult reputable and reliable resources.

Remember that if you are unsure of your potential major, there are other factors besides this that can help you decide on which colleges to apply to. Also bear in mind that indicating a major on your application or beginning coursework for a specific field in your freshman year will not lock you into the major forever; there are always major-change and school-transfer options should your plans change down the road.

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