Learn about College Majors or Training Programs

Learn about college majors

Deciding on a college major is a life-changing decision. You want to know if the major fits your interests, abilities and needs. Here are the best ways to become informed:

  1. Read "What is a College Major?" and "Holland college major environments." "What are liberal arts majors?" may interest you too.
  2. Download our free eBook, "Choosing a College Major Based on Your Personality, What does the research say? "
  3. Purchase our eBook, Match Up! Your Personality to College Majors. All 1400+ majors and training programs in the U.S. and Canada are organized by the Holland personality types. This is important to know because major studies show that with a good match you are more likely to,
    • Earn higher grades,
    • Stick with your choice of major,
    • Graduate on time, and
    • Be more satisfied and successful in your career. More
  4. Talk with your school or college counselor.
  5. Interview people in the major or work you are considering. Most people are happy to do this. It is called Information Interviewing.
  6. Go to the Library. It has excellent sources. Ask the librarian for help.
  7. "Major Shadow." Like "job shadowing", follow and observe a person in the major or training program. Be sure to pay attention to the "major environment" – is it one where you would fit?
  8. Go to the College Navigator. It's a great source for choosing a college once you know the major that interests you. The information is wide-ranging. It is free, accurate, and does not ask you for personal information. It lists the majors for each college.

Some questions to explore:

  • What courses or learning experiences will you complete?
  • What kind of degree or certificate will you receive?
  • If it's for a Bachelor's degree, when do I start my major studies? Do I start them as a Freshman, or later?
  • What program requirements must you satisfy for admission?
  • How long is the program?
  • Does it prepare you for a particular career?
  • What is the academic environment like for this major? Will it encourage me? Will I enjoy it?


  • Schools or colleges may use a different title for the same type of major or program. For example, "Accounting and Finance" may be called "Accountancy" or "Accounting/Finance".
  • A major with the same title may also be offered at different degree levels -- like, Certificate or Diploma, Associate or Bachelor's degrees, Teacher Certification, Master's or Doctorate degrees, or Professional degree (e.g., M.D.).
  • College majors leading to a Bachelor's degree can be divided into two large groups, academic (Liberal Arts) majors or applied majors. Learn more about Liberal Arts majors.
  • To learn about career options, read "Learn about Occupations".
  • Having trouble deciding? Read "Undecided".