Major switch?

How to handle changing your degree path

As students look at their degree progress, they might feel like it no longer aligns with their career goals and aspirations. They may be looking to change their major and start a new career path. 

They may also feel conflicted — changing a major can feel like wasted time. However, it’s important to remember that soft skills are developed in every corner of your life and that, statistically speaking, you’re not alone. 

According to a 2017 study by the U.S. Department of Education, the most recent data available, about 30 percent of undergraduates enrolled in an associate’s or bachelor’s program change their majors at least once during the first three years of school. Furthermore, about one in 10 bachelor’s students changed majors more than once (the statistic is one in nine for associate’s students). 

And while you may not use information from your physics class on you new business path, maybe you learned how you study best, made a friend or found a mentor in the face of your professor. Whatever skill you acquired, know that nothing you do goes to waste. 

With this growth mindset, hopefully you can feel more comfortable with switching to a major that feels more like you. 

Here are some resources to guide you during this transition:

Academic Advisors

From changing your major to planning your course schedule, academic advisors assist students during their time at CMU. They can also assist you in choosing a minor or registering for classes, or help with study skills and time management. Visit the Academic Advising Department page at to book an appointment with yours. Or, if you prefer, you can register for courses on your own by:

Signing into your account via the “Sign In” button in the upper right corner of the university homepage.

Clicking “Course Search and Registration” under “Quick Links”

Searching for classes by academic term and course name

You can find bulletins of what classes are required for each major by visiting the Office of Curriculum and Instructional Support or searching “Academic Bulletins” at

On-Campus Counseling

“Before (COVID-19), 60% of U.S. students felt ‘overwhelming’ anxiety, while 40% experienced depression so severe they had difficulty functioning,” according to the American College Health Association.

CMU offers free counseling services to all students. Talking with a therapist during a time where there is a change in your life can help ease the transition. 

To book an appointment with the Counseling Center, visit it on the first floor of Foust Hall, 600 E. Preston St., or call 989-774-3381. 

Outside information

Online research should also be a first step. Try visiting:

College Majors 101

The Princeton Review “Guide to Choosing College Majors”

College Factual 

Talk with students in your prospective major. This can give real insight as to what the classes are like, who the professors are (or visit, and what your new courseload might look like.