Some colleges and universities require you apply to a specific major at the time of admission. These schools assess your fit for the major when they review your application. While you don’t need to “pre-major” in your major during high school, the right courses and career related activities can show you understand and will succeed in that major.
Your high school course selection and grades are a primary factor in fit to major. Taking the highest level course in your subject area shows your ability to handle the rigor. For instance, if you are considering applying to a highly competitive business program, having strong math grades including Calculus and Linear Equations is usually critical. Engineering students should have AP Calculus B/C if possible. Engineering students should also consider taking the highest level physics, chemistry or computer science depending on the type of engineering they plan to pursue. Nursing students should have strong biology and chemistry grades–again pursuing AP or advanced Dual Credit levels if offered and the student can handle.
Many high schools offer career related clubs-this might mean participating in robotics if you are consideringeEngineering, DECA or FBLA for business, HOSA for health careers, or Cadet teaching if planning to enter education. Yet, some high schools don’t have these programs. Think about other ways you might be able to explore your career interests through activities like 4H, starting a business, volunteering in your community or working as a counselor at a summer camp (even better if the camp is related to your career interests like a STEM camp).
Fit to major is something you should also consider when choosing your major. If you don’t enjoy your math classes, will you enjoy business? if you have never really coded or tinkered with building a computer, will you enjoy computer engineering? If you hate to write, do you want to pursue something that is writing intensive like history, political science or sociology? What do you like to do and how do you spend your time? That doesn’t mean you only have to do what you are good at–its ok to challenge yourself–but if you don’t like main components involved in the curriculum you probably won’t enjoy the major or a career in the field.
Think about where you need to be with your coursework senior year. Then work backwards to make sure you get everything you need. This might be doubling up on math or science one year to make sure you get those rigorous courses into your schedule.
If you would like to meet and discuss your course selection, four year plan or ways to demonstrate your fit to major, schedule a meeting here. We are always happy to help students put their best foot foward in the admission process.