By Jessica Tavares and Chris Densmore
Jessica Tavares is an academic adviser within the Undergraduate Academic Advising Center. She works with undergraduate students within NSU’s online and off-site populations. She helps students cultivate degree plans to attain their goals.
Christopher Densmore is a NSU alumnus and an academic adviser in the Undergraduate Academic Advising Center. He works to encourage students at the undergraduate level to achieve their highest learning potential and pursue academic challenges.
Students may often feel stressed when committing to a particular academic track, and for good reason. Choosing the right program can be overwhelming. But there’s no need to fret. Rarely is there a wrong choice when choosing to expand one’s depth and breadth of any subject. Choosing a major is important but what also matters is understanding the content of each course in the curriculum and the academic experience.
In recent times, graduate school admission committees and respective admission exams are focusing more on the entire student and not just their major. An example would be the often-pursued pre-med programs. Major in a science program and all the prerequisite courses will be perfectly positioned over the next four years. This plan may be the straightest track to applying to the school you have always dreamed, but other options exist. More and more pre-med focused students are majoring outside of traditional science programs. There are many excellent majors to explore that can help you attain your ultimate goals but the key to making all of this applicable is to still take the required courses for graduate school. Think carefully and be sure to consider the major’s emphasis and not just its requirements. Remember to meet with your adviser to research the prerequisite courses for that dream graduate program so that you are always up-to-date.
Traditionally, a student’s GPA is what graduate schools and employers focus on, but that isn’t so much the case for today’s academic and professional arenas. As our world becomes both more complex and interlaced, excellent grades may not always be enough. Many graduate schools prefer exceptional students who can understand content from several different areas. It’s important to be able to collaborate with others from diverse backgrounds and reach places you aren’t already familiar with.
Last but not least is the passion component of choosing a major. To reach one’s full potential and excel in any field a certain level of talent is required, but not at the expense of your highest interests.
Picture yourself as a future professional who embodies aspects of commitment, talent and readiness to conquer any endeavor. If your major inspires you this way, you know you have chosen correctly.