How to Start Exploring College Majors ... in High School

Posted by IPFW Admissions Team on 9/17/15 8:00 AM

If you are a high school student already thinking about what you’re going to major in in college, congratulations! You are so much farther ahead in the game than most high school students. It's a pretty big decision, so the earlier you start exploring your options, the better! But how are you supposed to figure out what you want to do when your entire day is spent sitting in class?


Experiment with your high school class schedule

You might be a whiz at math, but is that what you should be studying in college? High school is such a good time to play around with your class schedule to explore new areas of study. Consider trying things you've never done before.

If you really shine in a particular subject, consider signing up for advanced placement courses, which more closely model how a college course would operate. Plus, they look great on your college application.


Join a club or organization

It probably depends on the size of your high school, but typically speaking, there is no lack of opportunities to join a club in high school. It's a chance to get together with your classmates and do things that class time won't allow. From student government and honors societies, to science and chess club, you may realize a passion you didn't know you had! Bonus: you will have something to put on college applications that makes you stand out.



Volunteering is another perk for college applications. It tells admissions reps that you don't spend your evenings or weekends just sitting on the couch watching Netflix. You like to get out there and help your community.

When you volunteer for an organization, you will be presented with all kinds of opportunities to learn something new. And don't be afraid to try volunteering at a few different places. You may not feel as connected to one cause versus another. If you take the time to find the right one, you just may stumble upon your life's passion while helping other people.


Talk to your high school guidance counselor

Did you know that the guidance counselor is there to guide you through this thing called high school? (Shocking—I know). They are well versed in all things college-related, and can provide you with resources to make informed decisions about your future. For example, guidance counselors can tell you what subjects you may want to explore based on the results of an aptitude test.


Sign up for a job shadow

If you know family or community members in different professions, try to find an opportunity to shadow someone at their job. You can spend the day seeing firsthand how a professional in various industries spend their workday. This is probably one of the more eye-opening experiences you can have in high school. It's common for high school students to think an occupation is pretty glamourous, when in reality ... it's not at all. Job shadowing allows you to decide if sitting in a cubicle all day is right for you, or if you need to be out and about throughout the workday.


Still feeling lost?

There is no path set in stone for students to follow when it comes to choosing a major. If you aren’t sure what you want to do, relax—there’s time. If you want to figure it out before you start college, ask questions of the universities you’re interested in to begin exploring your options.

Download our eBook, Majors and Careers 101: A Guide for Undecided Students Applying to Colleges by clicking the button below:

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Topics: Choosing a Major





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