Pre-Major Advising

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2 female students talking to their professor during class
 A professor working with a student on how to use a microscope.
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In the Fall of 2020, 25% of First Year students at Miami had not decided on their major, and that number doesn’t include students who were unsure of their major, or changed their major. Sixty percent of Miami students change their major at least once. Being undecided is typical, and does not exclude you from working toward an Associate's or Bachelor’s Degree. 

Regional academic advisors will help you explore degree options and career paths. You should begin by using Miami's Program Finder to explore majors, minors and degree options. We’ll help you identify a Career Community. Pre-Major students will work on the Global Miami Plan requirements, as well as take elective courses to explore academic disciplines that interest them. 

Pre-Major students, who actively engage with Academic Advising and Career Services, are often the most prepared students once they graduate. They have taken time to learn about themselves and about their college coursework, and they have a deeper understanding of their career path. 

Goals for Pre-Major Students:

  • Participate in pre-major exploration and individual advising
  • Develop major decision-making and career exploration skills
  • Develop career goals that combine your interests, values and strengths 
  • Identify co-curricular experiences such as research, internships, clubs and organizations to further explore your interests
  • Learn to use the tools and resources we provide to explore and plan for a major
  • Identify a preferred major and at least one alternative or back up major by the middle of your sophomore year
  • If your major requires special admission standards, understand the requirements (for example, Nursing, Farmer School of Business, or College of Creative Arts majors)
"Truly successful decision-making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking."
--Malcom Gladwell

What should I expect from Pre-Major Advising?

Pre-Major Advisors are highly skilled Professional Advisors who can help you explore your passions, interests and goals and help you figure out your major. Starting with Orientation, we’ll help you identify a Career Community, and find courses that can work for several major paths. 

Pre-Major Students will receive email communication from our office inviting you to meet with us, explore majors, take assessments and reflect on your goals.

We may recommend classes or put you in touch with faculty advisors to discuss majors that interest you. Our goal is to help you declare a major no later than your sophomore year, giving you time to complete graduation requirements.

What responsibilities do I have?

If you are unsure about your major and career path, it’s going to take some work to make a decision. We ask that you work with your academic advisor to explore majors and career paths that are best suited to you.

We expect you to follow through with suggestions and action steps. These are research driven tasks that will help you gather the information you need to make a decision.

Pre-Major students should plan to meet with their academic advisor at least twice per semester, typically one of these appointments will include planning courses for the upcoming semester.

What will my academic advisor do for me?

Your Academic Advisor will support you through the decision making process. They will provide resources, ask you questions, and help you synthesize the information you have learned about yourself and your plans for the future.

Your advisor will answer your emails and phone calls. They will help you schedule academic advising appointments and follow up with you about your progress.

Your advisor will not tell you what major to choose, or what classes to take.

What makes up a bachelor's degree at Miami?

A bachelor's degree at Miami requires:

  • 124 undergraduate credit hours
  • the Global Miami Plan
  • at least one major
  • a co-major, if your first major requires it
  • a Thematic Sequence or a minor
  • elective hours to reach the total needed for graduation

Here is an overview of majors, minors and degrees at Miami Regionals, with recommended course plans and an overview of the types of degrees Miami offers. 

What tools might my advisor ask me to use?

Your advisor might ask you to:

  • Run a what-if Degree Audit to find out how your earned coursework would apply if you declared a major (look under "How do I run a "what if" degree audit" for instructions)
  • Use Focus2Career, a free, online tool for career decision making that identifies occupations that match your interests, skills, values and personality (the access code is "redhawks")
  • Take this quick MyMajors quiz
  • Schedule an appointment with Career Services to explore career paths
  • Schedule an appointment with Student Counseling Services to assist in your decision-making process

What classes can help me decide on a major?

Miami Regionals offers a variety of classes that can help you explore and decide upon a major. Consider enrolling in:

  • UNV101 (I am Miami) - this first-semester course is taken by most first-semester students at Miami University. The course introduces you to campus resources, academic expectations and regulations, and helps you figure out a major, or get connected with resources for your declared major
  • EDL100 (Career Development & the College Student) - 
  • Electives! - every degree at Miami asks you to take electives, or classes you choose to make up the 124 hours needed for a degree. If you are an undecided student, take a class or two that you don't "need" to help build your hours and explore majors

What campus resources are available?

  • Career Services & Professional Development staff is available to help you find internships, research careers and choose appropriate majors
  • The Center for Career Exploration & Success on the Oxford campus has many resources available to help you decide on a career...and the major to get there
  •  Handshake is an internship/job search platform, and Miami students are automatically assigned Handshake accounts. Log in to activate and use your account
  • Student Counseling Services offers Career Counseling to help you self-assess skills, learn about your decision-making process and develop plans for the future

What non-Miami tools and resources may be helpful?

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics CareerInfo App allows people to search their website from mobile devices. The CareerInfo App gives you information about employment, pay, job outlook and detailed descriptions of hundreds of occupations