Career Services, Macon Campus
Career Guidance—Choosing a Major
What's the difference between a major and a minor? A major is a group of courses (usually around 15) that are all related to one academic discipline. A minor is a smaller group of courses (usually around 5) that are all related to one academic discipline.
What about a concentration? A concentration is similar to an academic major, except that it is a combination of courses from different majors along with some specific courses that are unique to the concentration.
Can you major in something in one school and major or minor in something else in another school? Yes, as long as you meet all of the prerequisites for the courses. Make sure to check the Mercer University Catalog for those requirements.
Should you double-major in two disciplines? Only if you're interested in all the coursework and the extra time it takes. Double-majors aren't always guaranteed a better chance for employment or entrance into graduate school. Think about how long it will take to graduate and if the stress of two majors is worth it, particularly for your g.p.a.
What are the majors and minors at Mercer? Refer to the list of all majors and minors at Mercer.What if I don't know what I can do with my major? Not all graduates are hired because of their major - the employer is more interested in things like your communication skills, your organizational skills, your problem-solving skills, and your leadership experience. Most employers are hiring someone based on their potential to learn to do things the way the organization or company wants them done. Yes, your major matters, but it isn't always what an employer is interested in. The fact that you have a degree is more important in some cases.To get an idea of what people can do with their majors, check out What Can I Do With This Major?
When is the best time to choose a major? When you have answered the following questions:
- What interests me the most about the major?
- Have I looked in the bulletin or on the web at all the courses I can take?
- Have I talked with an upperclassman who has already taken courses in the major?
- Have I talked to a professor in the major that interests me?
- Have I looked at the types of opportunities I can pursue with this major?
Many people declare a major prior to their first semester, but don't start taking courses in that major until their second semester or sophomore year. This is usually because there are some prerequisite courses that must be completed before major courses can be taken.
How difficult is it to change my major? Depending on what major you want to change to, it's usually not too difficult to do. Forms are available in the Office of Academic and Advising Services, the Registrar's Office, or through your academic advisor.
What if I don't know what I want to major in? Talking with someone who knows Mercer and knows about majors is important. The Office of Academic and Advising Services, the Office of Career Services or an Academic Advisor can help. Call Career Services at 301-2863 to schedule an appointment for career guidance.
Are there tests I can take to help me decide about a major? Yes, there are. They assess your interests and skills. However, you should not depend on the results of one these to provide you with "the answer." In other words, the tests help you narrow down your choices. Career Services uses both computer-based and "paper and pencil" assessments. Learn more >