I interact with a lot of freshman as well as a lot of high school seniors applying to DePaul. One of their (and their parents’) biggest concerns is the issue of finding a major. So a recent article discussing two studies regarding how often students change majors and the impact that has (Changing Majors is No Big Deal if the Timing is Right, Studies Find) was particularly interesting to me. In short, the studies found that few students change majors, and if they do, it doesn’t have bad consequences in terms of graduation rates and time to graduation as long as it’s done early enough. The most interesting result was this:
Students who entered the university without a major but declared one before the end of their sophomore year had the highest graduation rate, 83.4 percent, which was 10 percentage points higher than the three next-most-successful groups of students.
The result isn’t as surprising as you might think since those are the students who had plenty of evidence about which major to choose before making the choice.
It’ll be good to mention this study the next time a worried student, or parent, asks about majors.