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Career Services

Step 2: Gather Information about Majors and Careers

Central offers a wide variety of majors and minors from the following broad areas:

  • Arts and Humanities
  • The Sciences
  • Education and Professional Studies
  • Business and Accounting
  • Individual and Interdisciplinary Programs

Every major is different. Admission requirements to a major differ from one academic department to another. For example, some majors have specific admission requirements, such as a GPA minimum, prerequisite coursework, or an entrance essay. Choosing a minor/specialization could offer the opportunity to pursue a further area of interest and help you become more marketable. The CWU college catalog is a great source of information.

  1. Look at the list of undergraduate majors
    • Print out the list of undergraduate majors in the college catalog and cross off the ones you know you're not interested in. If you can narrow it from over 50 down to 10 or 20, you've really accomplished something.
    • Make a shorter list of majors you would consider pursuing. Do they fit your interest, abilities, values and motivations? Could those majors possibly translate into career options? Career Services counselors could help answer this question.
    • Check out the catalog and departmental websites for specific information about the majors of interest, including admission and graduation requirements.
  2. Attend some departmental open houses, informational sessions and the annual Majors Fair
    • Many undergraduate majors offer 30 to 50 minute information sessions and/or open houses that can fill you in on all kinds of inside information: not only how to apply and graduate, but also answer questions on internships, research and career opportunities.
    • You might hear from other students already in the major, and advisors and faculty from the department.
    • Attend the festive MAJORS FAIR held the first Wednesday in February in the SURC Ballroom to speak with faculty representing all departments. You can get information on majors, minors, and specializations of interest and make follow-up appointments.
  3. Take a few introductory courses
    • Familiarize yourself with the Student Registration Handbook, Safari's Wildcat Connection and the Basic and Breath requirements.
    • Look over the list of general education courses/basic and breath requirements that look interesting and might be potential majors.
    • Read the definitions of introductory, general education courses in the catalog. If you decide not to major in the subject, you may still be able to count the course as an elective.
  4. Talk with departmental and academic advisors 

    Departmental and academic advisors are some of the best resources on campus because their knowledge of departments spans the continuum from minute details about degree requirements, faculty, and courses (e.g., "That course is only offered every other year, and you never want to take it at the same time as this class.") to broader issues of theory (e.g., "Professor X's research springs from her theory of X and Y"). They can help you form a picture of what faculty in that major like and want and what students in that major need to do to be successful. 
     
  5. Talk with a career counselor at any step in the process 

    It's important to know that a choice of major does not necessarily guarantee eligibility for a certain career path. You also feel confused about direction once you are about to graduate from CWU. Go to CAREER SERVICES IN BOUILLON 206. There, you can:
    • Meet with a career counselor to discuss your ideas, interests, values, skills, strengths, and major options you're considering.
    • Investigate "WHAT CAN I DO WITH A MAJOR IN…?" on the Career Services home page: www.cwu.edu/career
    • Consider taking Career Exploration, University 103, for 2 credits.
    • Take the personality and preference tests available. CAREER SERVICES offers TypeFocus, similar to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The Strong Interest Inventory (SII) is available for select upperclassmen, still deciding on a major. These widely used career assessment tools may also shed light on your academic interests. You can learn something new about yourself, confirm what you already knew about yourself, or perhaps see things from a different perspective to help you in your decision-making.
    • Set specific goals. For example, "By the end of this quarter I'll attend information sessions for my top five majors, try to narrow to three, then meet with the department advisors/faculty for those majors."
    • Work with Career Counselors throughout your years at Central and beyond. Counselors can be outstanding partners in this process. They can help you discover your own interests, help you set your goals, and can be a wealth of information on the job market & emerging careers.