Strategies for Finding your Major
Choosing a major is a process that can be both exciting and slightly intimidating. That is why there are professionally trained advisors, in the Office of College Advising, here to help you. With help from your advisor you can explore your educational goals and develop a plan for success.
You should also take advantage the many resources available to you throughout the process. Ask an advisor in the Office of College Advising about the many “Choosing Your Major” workshops, the Learning Communities programs, or how to explore your options by trying any of the following:
Explore with the USC Core and General Education courses. The USC Core can be a good way to explore possible areas of interest, and make contact with a particular department. All G.E. courses are taught by tenured faculty. If you are enrolled in G.E. courses you find interesting, make an appointment with the professors during office hours to ask about major or minor possibilities. If you're one of the hundreds of new freshmen each year enrolled in a Learning Community, take advantage of the small community of faculty, staff and fellow students.
Explore by taking a Freshman Seminar. Freshman Seminars are small classes led by distinguished professors who are invited to teach subjects they find especially intriguing or provocative. You earn two units on a credit/no credit basis. No prior knowledge of the subject matter is expected. Classes are limited to 18 students, so Freshman Seminars are an excellent way to get involved in an intimate academic setting with faculty and fellow freshman.
Explore by researching possible book lists for possible majors. Whichever major you may choose, you will spend a significant amount of time reading and/or working with textbooks. Therefore, spending time studying the books in the bookstore or the library should give you an idea of what a major in that field will entail. Similarly, meeting with faculty in your prospective department and asking about course content will also give you valuable insight.
Explore by attending a USC College Majors and Minors Fair. Every semester USC College coordinates an information fair on campus designed to help you learn about particular majors. At the fair you can discuss with departmental representatives what their academic discipline has to offer. For information about the next fair, call (213) 740-8555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Explore by doing. An internship experience is great way to help define your professional goals. Visit the Career Planning and Placement Center and talk about your educational goals and professional goals. Ask the counselor what recent Trojan graduates are doing and what types of major programs they completed at USC. Also the USC Volunteer Center coordinates opportunities to work with public agencies.
Finally, it is not always obvious where a particular area of study belongs in the academic community. At USC there are many interdisciplinary opportunities. If you are not sure, ask an advisor, or browse departmental web pages. By looking over faculty research interests you may find the "academic location" that best matches you.
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USC College Advisors
To find advisor information for the departments in the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences please see our departments homepage:
USC College Departments & Programs
If you are an undecided or undeclared student, contact the USC College Advisment Office:
or email email@example.com
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USC Professional School Advisors
If you're interested in a major in one of our professional schools, refer to the following sites for contact information:
USC School of Architecture
USC Marshall School of Business
USC Leventhal School of Accounting
USC School of Cinema-Television
USC Annenberg School for Communication
USC School of Dentistry
USC Rossier School of Education
USC Viterbi School of Engineering
USC School of Fine Arts
USC Davis School of Gerontology
USC Independent Health Professions
USC Law School
USC Keck School of Medicine
USC Thornton School of Music
USC School of Pharmacy
USC School of Policy, Planning and Development
USC School of Social Work
USC School of Theatre
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