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The University of Texas at Arlington | Division of Student AffairsThe University of Texas at Arlington | Division of Student Affairs

The Career Development CenterThe Career Development Center

The University of Texas at Arlington Division of Student Affairs

Choosing a Major: A Guide for Parents and Families

Choosing a major is an important step in a college student’s life. Sometimes students just seem to know what career they want to pursue and selecting a major is easy while others don’t seem to have a clue what they want to "be when they grow up!" This guide is designed to help you support your student with this important decision.

Offer Your Guidance

Everyone makes decisions differently. Be knowledgeable of the process your student uses to make decisions and offer assistance without letting your desires override your student’s desires. Help your student gather information through research and talking to professionals and then assist them in thinking through their options.

Start an Action Plan

Encourage your student to meet with a Career Consultant. If a student starts early in their college experience, they will have time to identify their skills and interests through the use of MyPlan, explore career paths and majors, take courses in areas of possible interest, talk to faculty and other students in academic departments, speak with professionals in different career fields and perhaps even get firsthand experience through an internship or job-shadow program to help narrow down their career choices.

Understand Your Options

Students may not always be able to pursue their first major choice. Some programs have minimum grade-point averages or pre-requisite courses to enter. Other majors require students to apply and compete with other applicants for limited space. For each of these it is important to know the requirements and the deadline dates for application. Students are encouraged to speak with their academic advisor if they have questions or concerns.

Link Majors to Careers

It is important to be aware of the relationship between majors and career fields. If your student does not yet have a clearly defined career interest, he/she may be having more difficulty choosing a major.

Ask For Help!

The Career Development Center is located in Davis Hall, room 216. Career consultants can assist students with their career planning. In addition, the Career Development Center manages a database of job postings for part-time jobs while in school, internships and degree required positions for students.

Here is some more information on how you can help your student throughout their college years: