College of Communication and Fine Arts
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Choosing a Major FAQs

How do I choose a major that is right for me?

How do I declare my major?

Do I have to declare my major right away?

When should I declare?

Where do I go for more information about my major?

What should I do if I want to change my major?

Why do I have to take General Education courses?

What if I have a question that wasn't answered here?

 


How do I choose a major that is right for me?

Be aware of and use the University's resources including:

  • Your Academic Counselor
  • Career Counseling Center, which is located at 214 Wilder Tower
  • CareerBeam
  • List of Majors
  • Four-year degree plans

Choosing a rewarding major means matching your interests with your talents and skills. A few things to consider::
  • What are your strengths and challenges?
  • What kind of activities do you enjoy most?
  • How would you describe your personality style or your main personality characteristics?
  • What subjects do you enjoy and in which do you earn good grades?
  • Think about people you have met whose work seemed interesting to you?
  • Explore the Web sites of programs that interest you to get more information.
  • Consider taking the University's Career Development course, COUN 1661 (3 credit hours).
  • Ask your advisor about introductory classes that may be available to explore areas that interest you.
  • Attend information sessions on campus about career or major interests, Pre-Law and Allied Health Info Sessions, for example.
  • Participate in the annual "Discover Your Major Day" to meet and talk to leading instructors and advisors from various academic departments.
  • Use the Career Counseling Center's "Encounter Program." It allows you to visit with a professional in the line of work that interests you.

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How do I declare my major?

See your advisor. You will remain assigned to the Academic Counseling Center (ACC) as long as you are undecided, take any developmental coursework, or have a GPA lower than 2.0.

If you no longer meet any of these criteria and wish to choose one of CCFA's programs, you will work with our advisor Laurie Snyder to formally declare a major. At that time, you will be directed to the advisor of your declared major.

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Do I have to declare my major right away?

It is not uncommon for most beginning college students to be unsure about their major. In fact, it is quite normal for students to remain "undeclared" through the first academic year. ACC advisors encourage students to keep an open mind when choosing a major and will often refer them to Career Counseling or to the CareerBeam resource for interest tests.

Waiting to declare a major is not a problem since the U of M curriculum requires you to take certain basic courses (General Education) regardless of your major. Your experiences in and outside of the classroom during the first year will help you decide a major.

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When should I declare a major?

To ensure that you can graduate with the minimum hours required, you are expected to choose a major by the end of your sophomore year.

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Where do I go for more information about my major?

There are several sources of information for your major including:

  • The Undergraduate Catalog, which includes course descriptions, 4-year plans, and other useful information
  • Departmental Web sites
  • Faculty members
  • Advisors
  • Other Web sites, such as College or University resource sites

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What should I do if I want to change my major?

Contact your advisor. He or she will have the appropriate paperwork and you can also discuss how your classes may change when choosing a new major.

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Why do I have to take General Education courses?

"The purpose of the Tennessee Board of Regents' general education core classes is to ensure that college students have the broad knowledge and skills to become life-long learners in a global community that will continue to change. Because general education courses should emphasize breadth, they should not be reduced in design to the skills, techniques, or procedures associated with a specific occupation or profession. It's not uncommon for many people to change careers several times during their professional years, and become successful in fields unrelated to their major.

General education provides critical thinking skills for analysis to continue to seek truths, to discover answers to questions, and to solve problems. Specifically, educated people practice and are literate in the various methods of communication. They recognize their place in the history, culture, and diverse heritages of Tennessee, the United States, and the world. They appreciate the web of commonality of all humans in a multicultural world and are prepared for the responsibilities of an engaged citizenship. They recognize the ethical demands of our common lives. They demonstrate the skills and knowledge of the social and behavioral sciences to analyze their contemporary world. They are familiar with the history and aesthetics of the fine arts. They understand and practice the scientific and mathematical view of the world.

Finally, Tennessee's general education core provides for its citizens the means to make a better living. Above all, it enables its citizens to make a better life."

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What if I have a question that wasn't answered here?

You can send an e-mail to ccfa@memphis.edu or call our office (901) 678-2350.

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CCFA Undergraduate Advisor

Advisor FAQs

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Last Updated: 7/27/12