Choosing a major is a process, and our advisors are here to help! Did you know that 75% of American students enter college undecided or change their major? At Pace you'll be introduced to classes and fields you may have never even heard of, so how do you choose your the major that fits you best? Explore our resources and meet with our team of academic advisors.
Self Discovery and Steps in Choosing a Major
Choosing a major is an exciting, but sometimes difficult, process and your advisor is one of your best resources. With the help of an advisor, you can make informed, confident decisions about your academic path. Your advisor will assist you in identifying your interests and conducting some research to find what majors and careers best match them. The steps toward choosing a major are outlined below, but working with an advisor is a great way to be sure you don't miss anything.
What are your interests? What do you value? What do you love to do in your spare time? An advisor in the Advising Center for Exploring Majors (ACEM) can help you learn about who you are so that you can apply this to what you do. At ACEM, our advisors are certified to administer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and StrengthsQuest to students for free. By identifying your strengths, interests, and goals, you and your advisor can determine a handful of majors that you can start researching.
"It is important for you to know yourself before you know what you can do. In other words, you can't give something you don't have." - Maya Angelou
ACEM has information on all the majors at Pace and their requirements. An advisor can help you research your interests through careful course selection, meeting others in the field and getting connected with other university resources. Fortunately, advisors in ACEM work closely with the school-based advisors throughout the campuses, so you always have a connection to the other advising units when you have specific questions about a major or are ready to declare. To learn more about the six schools that Pace University offers, you can go onto the specific school sites.
- College of Health Professions
- Dyson College of Arts and Sciences
- Elisabeth Haub School of Law
- Lubin School of Business
- School of Education
- Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems
Gain First Hand Experience
A valuable experience, while choosing a major or evaluating whether a major is right for you, is to get involved in clubs or organizations on campus that are connected to specific majors, disciplines or fields. Visit the Student Development Office on your campus to find out more or visit the Office's websites at (New York City) or (Pleasantville). You will learn more about careers related to the major and meet other students who share your interests. You can also look for volunteer opportunities that can connect you to the field. The Center for Community Action and Research is a great resource for locating volunteer opportunities. Visit the CCAR website for more information. In addition, Career Services can help you find internships in your field and connect you with professionals, including alumni, working in various industries. Visit the Career Services website to learn more.
Majors, Minors, and Career Resources
Pace Career Services
Pace’s Career Services department allows you to view potential jobs in your major, take assessments to learn more about yourself, and explore career options, some of which you didn't know existed. You can also find the current and projected trends of jobs by using the Occupational Outlook Handbook where you can search by median pay, needed degree, and likely growth rate. You can also learn about what duties you would perform as well as educational requirements for specific careers.
Pace Majors, Minors and Combined Degrees
Pace offers more than 100 majors and minors, and select combined degrees. It may be helpful to go through the lists to see what you might be interested in, or to cross off what you are definitely not going to do.
University 101 (UNV 101)
All first-year students are mandated to take University 101, and undecided first-year students have their own specific UNV 101. These are taught by specially-selected faculty who believe in the journey of exploring different majors. Students work on academic, financial and emotional skills to adjust to college life, and get to know what Pace University offers. Not only is this an intimate setting to get to know other students who are undecided, it also addresses academic and soft skills to navigate courses across many majors.
Exploring Majors and Careers (INT 197H)
This optional course is designed for freshmen and sophomores to help them make informed and confident decisions about their future. Through theory, personality inventories and guided practice, students learn methods for self-discovery and develop a written plan for their own academic and career pursuits.
Myths About Majors
"Everyone else knows what to major in."
Actually, this is far from the truth. Many students begin college without a clear choice of major. The process of exploring majors and deciding on the one that's right for you can be one of the best experiences you can have in college. Even students who enter college having chosen a major are likely to change their mind at some point. In fact, research indicates that as many as 75% of students who enter college having declared a major will change their mind at least once.
"All jobs and careers require specific majors."
Many students think there is a direct relationship between their future career and their college major. However, there are very few majors that translate directly into one specific job or career. In most cases, there is not one specific major required to enter a career field. Employers, who are hiring graduating seniors, look for well-rounded individuals with good transferrable skills and relevant experience (you get part of that well-rounded quality from your core courses!). Of course, there are some professional fields that do have qualifying or licensing requirements; for these, a student may have to select a certain major. Examples include nursing, accounting, and education. Remember, most fields allow for considerable flexibility!
"The major I choose now will be what I do for the rest of my life."
Not necessarily; that's really up to you and the interests you develop. Rather than commit you to a path you cannot change, your bachelor's degree shows employers that you have honed the writing, analytical, and thinking skills that are at a premium in the career world and are relevant to a wide range of areas.
"Once I decide a major, I cannot change my mind and major in something else."
Many students change majors. This makes sense, since the courses you take in college may expose you to new things, which can change your interests and, in turn, your major. In fact, liberal arts programs encourage exploration (that's the core curriculum).
"I am taking courses in the core curriculum that have nothing to do with the major I'm thinking about."
Although you may not realize it at first, these courses do relate to your major and your career preparation, and life-long learning. The core curriculum is a set of designed classes that serve as the foundation of our liberal arts curriculum. If builds on the foundational skills that you would need for furthering your education and transferable skills that work in any career. Core courses also give you the opportunity to expand on what you already know, or explore topics you are interested in. Well-rounded applicants with a broad knowledge and range of interests, are more confident and attractive to recruiters and future colleagues.
Advising Center for Exploring Majors
For an appointment on either campus or via zoom, please contact:
Phone: (212) 346-1798
Many students ask the same questions! Speak to an academic advisor for help in determining what your unique qualities are while planning for your future!
- Did you know that most college students change their major at least once and some change their major several times during their college career?
- Are you feeling a little bit of pressure about making a concrete choice that may affect the rest of your life? Is it less pressure to think about making a concrete choice that will affect the next 4 years instead?
- Do you truly know what majors are offered at Pace? Do you know your options?
- Do you know what your interests are?
- Do you feel as though you want to do so much that you are having a hard time choosing one thing?
- Do you know that your dreams, coupled with a realistic plan, may just create your perfect career?
- Do you know how you can stay on track towards graduation and still explore your interests?
- Did you know that speaking with an Advisor will help you to stay on track and help you to know what resources to take advantage of on campus?