Frequently Asked Questions
- Where can I get help for choosing my major?
- I want to see an academic adviser but I don’t know what to say.
- When do I need to make a decision about my major at Pace University?
- Can I start out as an "exploring" or Undecided major at Pace and graduate in four years?
- What courses should I take while I am exploring?
- How will I know when I've chosen the right major?
- Can I make a wrong or bad choice of major?
- How are careers related to majors?
- What are the advantages of starting your college journey as an exploring student?
- What is a minor and should I have one?
- How do I find out about combined degree programs?
The Advising Center for Exploring Majors is the best advisement resource for students who would like help choosing a major. In addition, at Pace University you will find many services and resources available to help you throughout your major exploration process. There are academic advisers, career counselors, professors, career fairs, libraries, workshops and more.
Your adviser’s office is a safe space … a comfort zone where you can be yourself and discuss your ideas and concerns. All you have to do is take the first step and make an appointment with your adviser! Once you are there your adviser will help you ask the questions you want to ask and find the answers you need.
As a Pace student, you are required to declare a major by the time you complete 64 credits. It is strongly recommended, however, that you set a goal to choose your major or narrow down your choices by the time you have completed 45 credits. For some majors, you must declare by the end of your freshman year in order to graduate within four years. In any case, it is important to talk with an adviser in the Advising Center for Exploring Majors about these decisions and to meet with an adviser at least once a semester.
Yes! You can start at Pace as an exploring student and, depending on what major you choose, graduate in four years. At Pace, although the major’s official name is ‘Undecided’ we refer to these students as exploring students. An ACEM adviser will talk with you about the steps you can take to explore major options, which may include (but are not limited to):
- Learning about the wide range of undergraduate majors offered at Pace
- Taking self-assessment inventories
- Planning courses for the following semester that fulfill core requirements and also introduce you to potential areas of interest
- Talking with faculty, staff and students in possible areas of interest
- Getting connected with other University resources
Exploring students should take courses from the core curriculum. It is a great tool for students who want to learn more about different fields of study before they choose a major. You can take classes from every discipline in order to explore your options and fulfill requirements at the same time. Your adviser in the Advising Center for Exploring Majors will help you select the right courses for you.
2nd semester freshmen and sophomores have the opportunity to take an Exploring Majors and Careers Course for elective credit. Exploring Majors and Careers is a course designed for students who would like the opportunity to focus on who they are in relation to the world of work. Students will gain the self-knowledge necessary to choose a major direction, identify what aptitudes and goals can help them focus on a career path, and gain insight into the decision making process. Significant emphasis is placed on helping students learn how to set realistic goals and take the necessary steps to achieve them. Students employ research methods to learn about the world of work and how majors relate to careers.
For most students, there may not be just one right major. Unless you decide to pursue a career in a field that requires a specific degree (i.e., accounting, biology, education, nursing, etc.), you actually have a lot of flexibility in choosing your major. Depending on what career you are interested in, there could be several majors that would be good choices. You do not have to make a perfect choice, but you can increase the likelihood that you will make a good choice by making a well-informed and well-thought-out decision. You need to learn about the degree requirements, course descriptions, faculty, and related career fields. You can make a great decision with the help of your adviser and by completing various assessments as well as using resources to research majors before settling on the ‘right’ one.
There are more than one hundred majors offered at Pace University and each provides a variety of opportunities. Thus, you can't choose a "bad" major. Most likely, more than one major is a good match for you. The advising Center for Exploring Majors can help with the exploration and decision-making process to find the major that is the best fit for you and whether pursuing a minor or considering a combined-degree program would be beneficial to your ultimate academic and career goals.
Generally, there is not just one specific undergraduate major required to enter a career field. There are, in fact, many appropriate majors related to most careers. It is important to recognize that there are some professional fields that do have qualifying or licensing requirements that indicate the need to choose certain undergraduate majors. You should always determine whether the career field you plan to enter has any specific requirements that indicate certain major choices. If you are exploring majors, it is important to meet with an adviser in the Advising Center for Exploring Majors early in your first semester to learn about the requirements for all possible fields of interest.
By starting as an exploring student, you will have the opportunity to research and experience many areas before deciding on one and to gain a greater understanding of yourself and your goals. If you are unsure of your interests or have so many that you do not know which to choose, an adviser in the Advising Center for Exploring Majors can help you every step of the way!
Minors usually require the completion of 5 – 6 courses (15 – 18 credits) in a field of study. With some careful planning, you can add one (or even more) minors and still graduate on time. Pace’s flexible core curriculum even allows you to complete a minor within the core. The advantage to having a minor is that you can study multiple and complimentary fields, frequently while adding a "skill set." Also, a degree program that includes minors is often stronger as a credential for graduate school or job application, and expands potential career opportunities as well.
Advisers in ACEM can give you information about the many combined degree programs offered at Pace. Inquire about these early in your college career as there are separate Admission procedures for these programs. These are great opportunities to enhance your education and optimize your career choices.