Advising FAQ

Q: When do I have to declare a major?

A: Students must declare a major near the end of their sophomore year, before they can pre-register in April for their fall courses.

Q: How do I declare or change my major?

A: Using a Change of Major/Advisor Form, found on the Advising Forms webpage, from the Advising Office (1st floor, Golisano Hall)

  1. Choose a professor in your major and ask if they are willing to be your advisor
  2. Have your new advisor sign the form and turn it in to the Advising Office

Q: What if I decide on a major and then change my mind?

A: Changing your major is always an option. There a few things to keep in mind when contemplating changing your major.

First and foremost, are you changing your major for the right reasons? Are you not enjoying your classes? Has an internship or volunteer experience in another field led you to think that a different major may be more suitable for your chosen career path? Is it feasible at this point in your academic career? Get input from your current advisor and from faculty in the prospective major(s).

Q: How can an integrated liberal arts degree help me?

A: The cornerstone of a liberal arts degree is its potential to prepare you for life after college in any career. In this manner, the skills gained in a liberal arts curriculum provide many of the skills that most employers or graduate schools expect graduates to possess.

Most liberal arts students graduate with the ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing, possess strong interpersonal skills, are highly adaptable to change, have developed keen critical and analytical thinking skills, and display well-honed problem solving abilities. These five skills are five of the top 10 qualities employers seek in job candidates.

Q: Would it be useful to minor in a field?

A: Yes. Minoring in a field is a great way to diversify your specialization.

Many students decide to declare a minor to either complement their major (political science and history), or to broaden their education (biology and English). To declare a minor, use the same form you would use for changing majors or advisors. An advisor is not required for minors.

Q: Does majoring in a field mean that I am limited to a career related to this field?

A: Absolutely not. The correlation between academic major and career paths is relatively low. It is not uncommon to find many people in careers unrelated to their major.

The most important point is to gain skills pertinent to your chosen career field. These skills, often referred to as “transferable” skills, can be gained by working hard in any major. And by engaging in the ‘life of the college’ while simultaneously taking advantage of the wealth of experiential learning opportunities (research, job shadow, internship, work-study, community based service and learning, and campus clubs and organizations).

Q: What skills do employers look for in candidates?

A: Employers look for…

  1. Communication skills
  2. Motivation/Initiative
  3. Teamwork
  4. Leadership
  5. Academic achievement (GPA)
  6. Interpersonal skills
  7. Flexibility/adaptability
  8. Technical skills
  9. Honesty and integrity
  10. Analytical/problem solving skills

 

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