Students prepare for upcoming major declaration


Major and minor declarations must be given to the Registrar’s Office by Mar. 1 for changes to be in effect during preregistration for the fall 2016 semester.

Students of sophomore standing are required to declare a major prior to their junior year.

Eve Christoffersen, academic records analyst and graduation coordinator, has worked in the Registrar’s Office for over five years overseeing major and minor declarations.

“There’s an advantage to waiting until the end of your sophomore year because students have more information. That’s the idea behind Common Curriculum and Pathways. It’s giving insight into many different fields,” Christoffersen said.  

During the 2014-2015 academic school year, there were 1,587 students that had declared undergraduate majors, according to the Trinity University Factbook for 2015-2016.

An estimated 80 percent of students in the United States change their major at least once, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. On average, students change their major at least three times during college.

“Oftentimes, students come from high school and think they want to major in one thing, but then they take a course and it changes their mind. We really want them to wait until they’ve taken some classes and have gotten a sense of the major,” Christoffersen said.

The most popular major in 2015 was business administration with 357 students enrolled, according to the Factbook. The second most enrolled major was communication with 108 students, followed by 94 students in engineering science.

The Factbook further indicated that the majors with the lowest enrollment were education with one student, interdisciplinary second majors with six students, Chinese studies with eight students and philosophy with nine students.

Major declarations do not necessarily define career paths after graduation, according to Annie Cutler, employer relations coordinator.

“Your major doesn’t have to define your college career. You can major in biology and end up working as a career coach. You can major in psychology and end up working as a technology consultant. There are so many options. Your major doesn’t determine your entire life “”it’s the jumping off point,” Cutler said.

Career Services works individually with students to determine their majors.

“The students can meet with any of our advising team. We have a liaison model, which means that each career advisor is assigned to an area. We have counselors focused in the business sector, non-profits, computer science and more,” Cutler said.

Melanie Coulson, assistant director of coaching and advising, offers counseling for students who are unsure which major to commit to.    

A study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers said that 66 percent of students choose their major based on a career that they are interested in, 12 percent of students “drifted” into a major, nine percent were inspired by a teacher to pursue it and seven percent chose a major because of its potential earnings.

Career Services also offers a course dedicated to helping students find a career and major. The one-hour course “Chaos, Theory and Careers” is taught by Katie Ramirez, associate director of Career Services.

In 2015, there were 259 students with multiple majors at Trinity.

Cutler recommends that students seek faculty advice before declaring a second major.

“It’s important to know if double majors are a good fit for your career goals. There are lots of benefits to a double major “” it opens up your career options, you meet new people, but there definitely needs to be some intentionality behind it. That’s definitely a conversation to have with your career advisor and faculty,” Cutler said.  

Junior Elena Souris is pursuing a double major in political science and communication.  

“I feel like double majoring has given me a lot of flexibility and lots of options moving forward. I think they complement each other pretty well and there is a fair amount of job overlap, too,” Souris said.

Souris chose to major in political science and communication based upon her interests.   

“I chose communication because of the career direction I thought I wanted to go in when I came to Trinity. But it definitely wasn’t everything that I was interested in, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go the typical communication route of public relations or advertising. I looked around at a lot of classes, took a political science class and internship and really liked them and felt like there wasn’t anything else that I would rather major in,” Souris said.

Major declaration forms are available on the rack outside the Registrar’s Office in Northrup 118.