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Undecided about a major?

That’s not unusual. At Barry University, 10 percent of entering, first-year students are undecided about a major and 45 percent of entering, first-year students change their major at least once.

Maybe you are interested in a few areas or careers. You may know what career you want to pursue, but don’t know what area of study or coursework would best prepare you. Or maybe you are 95% certain of your major, but are concerned you may change your mind.

This page will help answer some of your questions and tell you about the support Barry University offers as you go through the process of choosing a major. If you need more information, you can always follow-up with an on-line question or you can contact your admissions counselor at 305-899-3100 (toll-free 1-800-695-2279) or email admissions@mail.barry.edu.

When do I have to decide on a major?

While we recommend you choose a major as soon as possible, you have until your 60th credit (the end of your sophomore year) to decide. If you can make the decision earlier with our support, you could save time and money.

What if I am already fairly certain of my major?

Indicate that choice on your application for admission. If you change your career choice or develop a new interest after you have enrolled, you can change your major provided you meet the requirements for that major.

What if I am truly uncertain about my major?

Indicate “Undecided” on your application. Then if you are accepted and enroll, begin exploring by:

  • taking some introductory courses in areas that interest you
  • attending Barry’s Career Fair and information sessions held by various departments
  • taking an interest inventory
  • enrolling in ORI 100 Freshman Seminar
  • speaking with your academic advisor

Suggestions to help you choose a major:

  • Take introductory courses in areas that interest you. Barry offers introductory courses in Theatre, Computers, Organic/Biological Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, Sociology, Criminology, Philosophy, Business, Education, and Social Work, as well as a Foundations course in Sport and Exercise Sciences.
  • Take an interest inventory such as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and the Strong Interest Inventory. Counselors in Barry’s Office of Career Services will administer these inventories and review the results with you. Combined with an assessment of your values and goals, the results may assist you by providing specific direction or by taking some areas out of consideration.
  • Attend the many activities held by Barry’s Career Services, including the Career Fair in the spring.
  • Enroll in ORI 100. This one-credit Freshman Seminar helps you improve your study and time management skills. You will also hear from a number of guest speakers who may help you better define your interests.
  • Attend any information sessions offered for majors you are interested in or speak to the program director for that area.
  • Speak to your personal academic advisor. As an undecided student, you will have an academic advisor within the College of Arts and Sciences. Your application information and educational history will be evaluated so that we can place you with a compatible advisor. Your advisor will guide you in your choice of coursework up until that time when you choose a major. Once you choose a major and are accepted to that major, a new advisor will be assigned.

What if I’m thinking about a certain major, but I’m not sure it will prepare me for the career I want?

Check Barry’s Career Services web pages. You’ll find a number of career opportunities for Barry majors. You might also speak with a counselor in Career Services.

What if I know what major I want, but I’m concerned that I lack some of the skills needed for success in that major?

Speak with your admissions counselor about your concerns and check out Barry’s academic support services which include the Glenn Hubert Learning Center. This center houses the Math Lab, Writing Center, Reading Lab, and the Developmental English Program - all of which can help you improve those skills you need to succeed in your chosen major.

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