You’ve chosen your degree, but what’s your major? Some students come to Dal with a major in mind and some don’t. Either is OK! Even students who come with an intended major often change their mind as they discover new areas of interest. Whichever group you’re in, it’s important to start the process early.
Why should you declare your major?
- You can get notified on departmental events so you can meet important and helpful people like professors. (#networking)
- Some majors have more credit hours and require a longer time to complete, which is important info to know.
- Some majors have limited enrolment or minimum grade requirements, meaning you need to apply and be accepted into the major.
- Some majors require you to take prerequisite classes before being eligible to declare.
- The sooner you declare your major, the earlier you can complete a degree audit, which will give you ad degree ‘to do list’ and make selecting your classes A LOT easier.
Frequently asked questions
How many majors does Dal have?
Over 200—you’ve got options!
Where can I find a list of requirements for each major?
In the Dalhousie Academic Calendar.
How do I decide my major?
What are your strengths? What’s your passion? What are you really good at? What research would you like to do? What do you want to learn more about? What do you think you want to be doing in 10 years? You can apply your degree and knowledge to a wide range of careers so pick something you’re passionate about learning more about.
Can I do a double major?
Many majors in Arts and Science can be combined as a double major. If you have two areas of interest, a double major can be a good way to develop skills and knowledge in both areas! Make an appointment with your advisor for all of the details.
What is a minor?
A minor is a secondary area of study, usually 6–12 courses (18–36 credit hours) in a subject outside your major. It’s not necessary to have a minor, but it’s a nice way to complement and personalize your experience. The minor requirements are listed in the Dalhousie Academic Calendar.
Myths (don’t believe them!)
There is only one right major/career for me.
The right major is the one that helps you to develop the skills, knowledge, and experience you’re looking for. Think about what you want to get out of your university experience and develop a plan to include all those pieces. That could include doing a minor, co-op, study abroad, or other extracurricular activities and experience.
Wondering what some #DalGrad ‘s have done with their degrees? Check out the Dal Alumni Spotlight profiles.
Once I declare my major, I can’t change my mind.
You can absolutely change your mind! You can continue to tweak and develop your plan all the way up to graduation (as long as you meet the program requirements of the degree you want to graduate with at the end).
I’ll fall behind if I declare a major now and change it later.
Not necessarily. Talk to an advisor about how your courses can be applied to a different program and how best to maximize your credit hours. You may not be as behind as you think you will be, or it may not extend your degree at all!
Employers are only interested in students with majors that tie directly to the job posting.
There’s a reason that most job postings have “or related degree” in the requirements. Job applications are all about pitching yourself and your skills. If you have the skills they’re looking for, which are often transferable from any degree, combined with a passion for the industry, you’ll likely be considered.
I should complete as many majors and minors as possible to make myself more attractive to prospective employers.
It’s not the quantity but the quality of your experience and skills that matters most. Focus on being good at what you do and developing great skills. This is something you can do with any major. Employers will look for depth and breadth of experience, and the range of skills you bring. Talk to the career advisors in the Bissett Centre in Halifax or the Student Success Centre in Truro about how to promote yourself to potential employers.
Adapted from Brigham Young University
- Go to the Academic Program Fair in Halifax on Jan. 31 to explore your academic options.
- Attend the Student Job & Career Fair in Halifax on Feb. 8 to explore your career options.
- Learn more about when and how to declare your major at dal.ca/learnwell.
- Make an appointment with an advisor.
- Check out career support offered through the Student Success Centre (Halifax or Truro).