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Choosing a major is a major decision. But what you major in doesn't always mean you will have a career in that field.  It is important that you choose a major that can and want to devote your next 3 years to.  If you are uncertain, or I should say open to exploring majors, here are a couple techniques and tips to help you find a major that matches your passions and skills.
 
EXERCISES
-Department Websites. Look up the colleges' and departments' web pages and explore what they say about themselves, especially the "undergraduate" sections.   This will give you a much better sense of the "personality" of the colleges and departments than the more formal information found in the Bulletin. The web pages also often include current course descriptions, information on various professors' specialties and research, departmental clubs, awards, and department news, among other items.  See http://nd.edu/academics/undergraduate-majors/  for written descriptions of the various colleges and majors that are extremely useful.  
 
-Bulletin: Look up information on possible programs and majors via the Bulletin of Information found on the web at http://registrar.nd.edu/BOI.shtml    (The Bulletin of Information is maintained by the Registrar's Office, so you can also look it up merely by going to the Registrar's web page and finding your way from there).  The Bulletin will describe the course requirements for the colleges and majors, the various possible tracks for the majors, and the like.
 
-Network: Interview, research, and talk with professors you already know who are in the departments you are considering and/or see the undergraduate director of the department (undergraduate directors will be listed on the department's web page).  Tell them you are considering their field as a possible major.  Make sure you have a couple of good questions ready for them.  It's a good idea to do a little research on your own first (via the Bulletin of Information and/or department web pages) so that you can use these conversations to talk about the more interesting things that rise out of what you've already learned. If you'd like ideas for a couple of good opening questions, just let your advisor know and he or she will help you come up with some good questions before you visit the undergraduate directors. Also keep a look out for department information sessions, majors night, and career/research/internship fairs.
 
-Build a Hypothetical Schedule. Using the Bulletin or the "progress towards graduation system" link on InsideND, look at the four-year course plan and major requirements, and then see if you imagine yourself in this path. Then build a sample dream schedule.  Using the CD in the back of the Bulletin of Information or the class search on InsideND, look up and read the course descriptions. Build a sample schedule of what the next semester would look like if you majored in that subject.  
 
-Bookstore Field trip. Browse the University bookstore racks. Look through the shelves of course textbooks, manuals, and novels.  If a book looks interesting to you, that may be a sign that you wouldn't mind reading that type of book, and if you wouldn't mind reading that type of book, you probably wouldn't mind studying, listening to lectures, and taking a course in that topic.  Write down a few books that caught your interest, and include the course names that were associated to these books. What books that you have already ready had the biggest impact on you?

-Surf OpenCourseWare. OCW refers to free course materials (syllabus, lectures, assignment, readings, etc.) that are created by universities and shared to the world through the web.  With the open education movement you don't have to register for a course in order to check it out and learn from it.  The University of Notre Dame recently started contributing to this movement, so you can find a few courses in most majors. But if you don't find what you are looking for, check out some of the other big OCW universities to get a taste of the content in the courses. Browse through the sites below and make a list of couple courses that you found interesting and wouldn't mind taking, and include the links to the course pages. Links to review: For the University of Notre Dame OCW directory go tohttp://ocw.nd.edu/   For index directories of OCW Universities around the world go tohttp://www.ocwconsortium.org/use/use-dynamic.html   and http://iberry.com/cms/OCW.htm  

-Listen to iTunesU.  Related to the OpenCourseWare movement, iTunes has begun collecting lectures free (audio and video) podcasts from hundreds of universities and thousands of courses. Download iTunes on your computer or phone, then from the iTunes Store click on iTunesU.  Browse and subscribe to courses that you are interested in, then download the lectures you are interested in onto you computer, iPod, or phone. Make a list of a couple lectures and the perspective course that you were interested in. Links to review: Listen to the "Why major in series...?" YouTube Podcast Series http://ndfys.blogspot.com/search/label/podcast   Download iTunes for free athttp://www.apple.com/itunes/  

-Watch YouTubeEdu. Similar to iTunes U but not as comprehensive (yet), YouTube has hundreds of academic lectures and talks for you to watch and learn from for free.  Browse through the videos (pay attention to related videos-the power of social recommendation) and watch a few lectures.  Make a list of a few videos you found interesting or intend to watch, include the links to the videos. Links to review: YouTubeEdu at www.youtube.com/edu  
 
-What are you doing when you are in a state of "flow"? (To read about "flow" in on wikipedia seehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology ). To watch a video and learn more about the state of flow seehttp://h2w2.blogspot.com/2009/02/flow-happiness.html ). Brainstorm a list of verbs and activities that you are good at and enjoy doing. (i.e. reading, writing, designing, computing, building, speaking, helping, teaching etc.). What were the classes and courses you enjoyed the most throughout your education? What types of homework do you enjoy most? (i.e. papers, computations, etc.). What is your niche? What are you really good at? 

-Check in at the Notre Dame Career Services Center.  Be careful not to focus too early on careers, but remember that it is never too early to drop in and meet with a Career Counselor to tap their expertise. While you're talking to a Career Center counselor think about doing a very tentative job search - work backwards.  If you think you know the kind of career you might like, start searching through the job sites and find jobs you are interested in.  Write down the qualifications, degrees, skills, experience, etc. needed to work the jobs in which you are interested. Take it a step further and contact some of the companies and organizations you are interested in and ask to interview someone to tell you about potential careers.  Who knows? You may set yourself up with a good internship. Take a look at this career map to see where your interest are http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/careermap.htm
 
-Do Dean Page's "Imagination Exercise." Write today's date and current time. Now erase the current year and add 10yrs to that.  What are you doing at (11:58am on Thursday Dec 17, 2019).  What kind of attire/uniform are you wearing to work? What does your office, cubicle, or workplace look like? What kind of work are you doing? What kind of people are you eating lunch with?
 
-Reflect on Father John Jenkins's challenge to the fall 2009 First Year Studies Dean's Lists award winners:  Take Risks, Listen to your Voice, Discover your Passions, Find your Flow/Rhythm, Sharpen your Talents, and Share your Gifts.
 
MISC RESOURCES
 
 
-Watch Mike Rowe, the host of "Dirty Jobs," as he tells some compelling (and horrifying) real-life job stories. Listen for his insights and observations about the lost art of skilled labor and nature of hard work, and how it’s been unjustifiably degraded in society today.http://h2w2.blogspot.com/2009/12/dirty-jobs-philosphical-reflection-of.html  
 
-Watch: Gary Vaynerchuk: Do what you love (no excuses!) 15 min video. http://www.ted.com/talks/gary_vaynerchuk_do_what_you_love_no_excuses.html 
 
-Read and respond to the following article "Your College Major May Not Be As Important As You Think." See http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/03/major/?src=mv&ref=us 
 
Good luck,
 
Dr. A 
 
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.