Starting a Major

Your two years at a UW Colleges campus are a great time to explore your options for a major. You can begin over 250 majors at the UW Colleges and then transfer to complete a bachelor's degree. For more information about possible majors, contact the Student Affairs Office on the campus at which you are interested in attending.

Do I need to choose a major right away?

Your two years at the UW Colleges provides time for you to test your abilities, pursue your interests, and explore new ideas while considering one or more majors.

By the end of your freshman or sophomore year, after talking with faculty and your academic advisor, you should declare or select a major. You can begin over 250 majors at the UW Colleges.

Can I get help in finding out what interests me?

Yes, here's how:

  1. Get to know your academic advisor. Your advisor can help explain how the four-year degree works and provide you with plenty of resources to discover your interests.
  2. Take the "Strong Interest Inventory." This is a career assessment instrument that looks at your needs, aptitudes, and values and compares them with the results of persons given the same exam who have been identified as happy and successful in their jobs. You can obtain the inventory from your advisor in the Student Affairs Office, take it home to complete and bring it back. The Student Affairs Office will send it off for evaluation. This process takes about two weeks. When the inventory comes back, your advisor can sit down with you and go through the inventory for a full evaluation of the results.
  3. Attend career workshops offered on the campus.
  4. Make use of computer assisted interactive guidance programs and library resources.
  5. Introduce yourself to faculty members and discuss potential careers in their field of study.

For more information about specific programs or majors at the UW System Institutions.

What if I change my major?

It is okay to change your major, but see your academic advisor to help you select courses that will work towards a specific program. For example, if you have been taking classes towards an English degree and would rather enter an Engineering program, you will need to take different general education courses to fulfill the needs of your new area of interest.

If you are participating in the The Guaranteed Transfer program remember it applies only to the institution and not to the specific program or major.

You can get more information about transfer through the University of Wisconsin System Transfer Information System (TIS). TIS provides more information about courses and academic programs and the transfer guides and agreements between UW institutions. TIS enables students to determine how courses transfer between the UW Colleges and other UW System institutions.

How will knowing my major help me?

Knowing your major or area of interest will help you select courses that will apply to a specific program at your selected school. The courses you take at the UW Colleges will transfer, but they may not be the courses required for your specific degree program at your institution.

TIS enables students to determine how courses transfer between the UW Colleges and other UW System institutions.

What if I don't choose a major until after I transfer?

As a UW Colleges student, you can earn the Associate of Arts and Science Degree. This degree is a foundation for many majors in the University of Wisconsin System and is generally accepted by other University of Wisconsin System institutions as fulfilling the university-wide, college and school general education breadth requirements.

But, remember to be sure you are fulfilling program-specific requirements. See your advisor and consult TIS for more information about specific programs or majors at the UW System Institutions.

Major Mania

For more detailed information about courses and majors offered on specific campuses, alternative learning options, distance learning options or geographic location, please visit the Major Mania website maintained by UW>HELP.