Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
If I don't have a major who is my academic adviser?
You will be assigned to an academic adviser in the UARC. If you have an interest in particular majors, it is helpful to speak with a faculty member in that area to get specific information about that major and related careers.
What courses should I take while I'm deciding?
All students are required to take at least 42 credits of GENERAL EDUCATION COURSES. The purpose of general education is to expose students to a variety of areas and allow students to explore personal areas of interest as well. These are the kinds of courses you should take while deciding. Some majors and degrees may recommend specific general education courses, it is important to let your academic adviser know about any majors you are considering. This helps your academic adviser help you pick courses that will maximize your opportunities.
When do I have to declare a major?
UW Oshkosh does not require that students declare a major at any specific time. As a general rule, it is best to have a major in mind by the middle of the sophomore year. By this time most general education requirements will be complete and without a major it may become difficult to choose courses. Waiting beyond the second year to declare a major may result in more time needed to complete your degree; that is why it is so important to take advantage of the services available at UW Oshkosh. We want to help you through the process of choosing a major.
Where can I take career interest tests?
Interest inventories, career tests, personality assessments and much more are available online, in the Academic and Career Exploration course (Professional Counseling 201, which multiple sections are taught every semester) and in the Counseling Center. An academic adviser can help you determine how to get you the information needed and also will help you to understand the results and how they relate to majors/careers. Keep in mind that just taking these kinds of tests is not enough. You need to discuss the results with an academic adviser or career counselor who is trained to understand what they really mean.
I am really confused about what to major in - who can I talk to?
Although it may be easy to talk with family and friends, they can't always be objective. That's why talking with an academic adviser or career counselor is a good first step. These people can help students understand how interests, skills and values fit with various majors and careers. They can also be honest and objective when family or friends cannot. When deciding what major to choose there is no one person you should talk to - you should talk to many people; advisers, career counselors, family, friends, professors, professionals working in field you find interesting, etc. All of these people can provide information that will help you select the right major for you.
What if I know the career I want, but don't know which major will get me there?
As a general rule there is not one major that will lead to a career. Often times any number of majors can lead to the same career. Only in some cases is a specific major needed to enter a career, e.g., teacher, engineer, doctor. If you know the kind of work you would like to do after graduation, but don't know which major to choose, it would probably be helpful to start by talking with an academic adviser or career adviser. They can help you map out the best path for your goals. Talking with someone working in the field or career you wish to enter will also provide helpful information for selecting a major. Look at it this way, the major doesn't need to be right for the career, the major needs to be right for you.
What if UW Oshkosh doesn't offer the major I am interested in?
If you are interested in a major that is not offered at UW Oshkosh you need to ask yourself some important questions. Does UW Oshkosh offer a similar or related major? Does UW Oshkosh offer a minor in this area that could be combined with another major? If the answer to both of these questions is no, then you may need to transfer to another college or university. Although we don't want you to leave, we do want you to be happy. You'll need to do some research to find out what schools do offer the major you want. An academic adviser can help you with all of these questions.