A Fresh Start

A+Fresh+Start

Matt Grahn

Choosing what to study in college can be a difficult decision. But some students find that they want to switch their major.

To start the process of declaring a new major, a student should get more information about their programs before making the switch. Danielle Reinhart, assistant dean for the School of Communications, said a student should get in contact with someone who works for the appropriate program, like a department chair, or an advising director.

Reinhart also said a student should check what kinds of classes they may need in order to complete a new major, as some of their credits may not transfer.

Matthew O’Connor, the dean of the School of Business, said a student should understand everything before making a switch, even if it means taking different electives and minors to “craft” a major to one’s taste.  

“Maybe there’s something about the [current] major you didn’t know…and maybe just a tiny variation in what you are doing could make that major work for you,” he said.

However, if a student wants to make their major switch official, they would look for the “Declare or Change Major” form, which can be found on the Registrar’s page on MyQ. The form, aside from personal information, asks what the current and the new majors are, and a confirmation prompt. After that, O’Connor said all that needs to be done is for a dean to sign off on the form.

Freshman Jazmine Santos wanted to pursue legal studies, but she started as a health sciences major because she said her parents wanted her to try “the whole doctor thing.”

When Santos got the chance to switch her major, she thought that the process was initially stressful, but felt like she was supported along the way.

Starting her new major of legal studies this semester, Santos is more enthusiastic about her classes.

“You have to do what you love, so if you don’t love [your major], why study it, ‘cause you’re gonna hate it eventually,” she said.

After making the switch, there are ways to help a student get settled in their new program.

For example, the School of Communications offers the COM 101 seminar, which Reinhart said is intended to support the student’s first semester in that program.

Sophomore Marcus Barrett originally came to Quinnipiac to pursue Marketing. Last fall, he decided to change his major to Management. Even though Barrett said the process was easy, he still was happy with his advisor’s assistance.

“I’ve never been through the process before, so I got a new advisor, and she was a lot of help,”  Barrett said.

Reinhart loves that she gets to help students with their personal journeys.

“Everyone is coming in with different strengths, goals, and dreams,” she said. “Instead of just kinda signing papers, I like those one-on-one conversations [with students] and trying to dig down into the reasons why they’re making these choices, and what they’re planning on looking into the future,” she said.

Senior Melissa Barclay originally came to Quinnipiac as a biology major. However, she realized she didn’t like how the classes were taught, and that she wasn’t as interested in the material as she once thought.

Similarly to Santos, Barclay’s first major was based off of what her family wanted

“I thought I wanted to be a doctor; and my family wants somebody to be ‘the First Doctor’, so all eyes were on me but, I didn’t care what anybody else thought, so I switched,” she said.

Barclay, having a love of writing, switched to the journalism program in the second semester of her freshman year. She has this advice for someone who might want to switch their major.

“Don’t be afraid [and] do what makes you happy,” Barclay said.