• Major Exploration

    Explore Majors Today!

    • Exploration Time
    • Take an Exploratory Course
    • Explore the Undergraduate Bulletin
    • Run a Degree Audit
    • Ask the Experts
    • Review the Career Guide to UNL Majors

    UNL offers over 150 majors in a variety of areas of study. We encourage you to begin gathering information about majors of interest so you can best weigh your different options. Some questions you might ask yourself when considering majors are:

    • What types of classes are offered as a part of the major?
    • Does the major offer room for minors, areas or concentration, or specializations?
    • What type of engagement activities outside of the classroom are available?
    • Does the major require a certain GPA standard or application/audition process?
    • Will graduate school be strongly encouraged after the completion of the major?
    • What excites you or does not excite you about the major?

    Taking an exploratory course in a major of interest is a great way to “test out” the major. These courses will vary by department and college, but usually introduce you to:

    •  the basic academic content of the major
    • areas of specialization in the major
    • reserach opportunities
    • internships and/or careers connected to the major

    The Undergraduate Bulletin is a great resource for you to use when wanting to learn more about the specific coursework required for majors. In the bulletin, you will find:

    • a list of all majors offered in each of the 8 UNL colleges
    • a description about each major
    • a list of courses and academic requirements for each major
    • course descriptions for every course offered at the university
    • contact information for the academic adviser for each major

    Degree Audits are electronic documents that outline academic progress toward a particular UNL degree/major. Explore Center students can run "what if" degree audits for any UNL major to determine degree requirements and progress.

    Degree Audits can be run by going to MyRed and selecting the "records" tab. Degree Audits are intended to be used as advising tools for course planning, but DO NOT replace the undergraduate bulletin or assigned academic advisers as a resource for requirements. Final confirmation of degree requirements are subject to department, college, and university approval.

    View your Degree Audit

    After you have identified a possible major of interest, a great way to learn more details about the major is to contact and visit with experts (faculty, academic advisers, etc.) within the academic department and college of interest. Experts can help you learn more about:

    • the curriculum and areas of specialization within the major
    • what kind of activities and ideas you would be exposed to in the classroom
    • what skills you would need to do well in the major
    • what kind of academic and career opportunities are available for students
    •  the exciting research taking place by the faculty within the major department of interest
    • potential undergraduate student research/internship opportunities

    See how UNL majors connect to careers by reviewing the internship and job paths of recent UNL graduates in majors of interest. Specifically, the Career Service’s Career Guide to UNL Majors provides you with information about:

    • Where recent UNL graduates in specific academic areas are working
    • What additional education recent UNL graduates are pursuing
    • What internship opportunities are related to UNL majors
    • What salaries recent UNL graduates are earning
  • Engage in your Passions

    Explore, Discover, and Engage in Your Passions!

    • What to Ponder
    • Join a Student Organization
    • Volunteer or Go on a Service Trip

    Sometimes choosing a major begins with identifying your passions and values.

    • What do you love to do?
    • To what causes or activities do you tend to devote your time?
    • What do you care deeply about?

    Explore or more fully engage in your passions by getting involved on or off campus. Need a place to start? Check out the links on the left.

    Need help connecting your passions to a major or career? Talk with a career counselor at the Career Services Center in 230 Nebraska Union or with an Explore Center Adviser in 33 Canfield.

    UNL offers over 300 student organizations to choose from! Use their website to learn more about organizations of interest that might help you cultivate or better develop your passions.

    • Go to the Recognized Organizations Section of the Student Involvement website
    • Log in to the UNL Community Student Organizations website using your MyRed username and password
    • Search groups by type, keyword, or alphabetically

    UNL's Center for Civic Engagement allows students opportunities for learning through service, leadership, and action. Visit their website to learn more about the exciting opportunities listed below (and many more) to get engaged!

    • Alternative Spring Break trips
    • Community Challenge
    • LiveBIG Initiative
    • Volunteer Fairs
    • Service and Leadership Clubs
  • Self-Discovery

    Discover More About Yourself
    • Where to start
    • Interests and Skills Inventories
    • Consider Your Values

    Discovering more about yourself can help with the discovery of a future major.

    A good place to start on the path to self-discovery is to determine if you can clearly define and describe your interests, skills, and values. These three components, and how they intersect, will play an important role in connecting you with possible majors.

    To engage in the process of self-discovery, attend some of our Explore Center workshops and/or visit with a Career Counselor in Career Services. Also, check out the resources on the left-side of the page.

    Career Services offers several opportunities for self-discovery through interests and skills inventories.

    • Campbell Interest and Skill Inventory ($10 fee; visit Career Services)
    • Strong Interest Inventory ($10 fee; visit Career Services)
    • FREE Career Cruising Exploration Assessments including Matchmaker, Ability Profiler, and Learning Styles Inventory. (Career Cruising is provided by the UNL Parents Association; please call Career Services at 472-3145 for the username and password).
    • FREE O*Net "Skills Search"
    • FREE Career One Stop

    Your values generally center around what is most important to you in life. Values could include things like family, security, autonomy, service, income, status, creativity, influence, adventure, helping, friendship, and power. Not only is it important to identify your values, but to also consider whether or not they may align with a certain career path. 

    To learn more about your values, complete the following activity:

    • Divide a sheet of paper into 16 boxes. Brainstorm the things you value and write down one value in each box.
    • Determine which 8 values are least important to you and cross them out.
    • Consider the remaining 8 values- which 4 values resonate most with you?
  • Career Exploration

    Connect Careers to Majors!
    • Career Services
    • Shadow a Professional
    • Gather Career Information
    • Review Job Descriptions
    • Take an Intro Course

    While you are exploring major of interest, it can be helpful to research career interests at the same time. It could be that you discover a career field that matches your interests, skills, and values, and then work backwards to determine what major will be prepare you for your choice of career.

    Career counselors at UNL Career Services (230 Nebraska Union, 472-3415) specialize in helping students explore career options and they have a plethora of resources available for you to use in this exploration process.

    Shadowing a Lincoln professional is a great way to experience first-hand what a typical day may look like in a career of interest. Through a shadowing experience, you also will have the opportunity to ask an expert for inside advice about the career you are exploring.

    Ask Career Services to help you set up a shadowing experience by talking with them about their Guided Professional Shadowing (GPS) program!

    Even though it is not yet time for you to submit job applications, reading through job descriptions can be a helpful way to better understand what the day-to-day activities of a job or profession may entail.

    UNL students have access to a plethora of job descriptions through Husker Hire Link.

    Take a one credit hour major “intro” course. Most of these courses cover not only information about the major, but about careers related to that major. Many also invite guest speakers to come to share more about their experiences within their career fields.

  • Decision-Making

    Determine How to Make a Decision:

    • Start at the Beginning
    • Gathering Information
    • Determine Pros and Cons
    • Decide
    • Evaluate

    Making a decision can sometimes be a scary thing. You might be asking:

    • “Do you mean I have to decide on one major and stick with it forever?”
    • “How do I know what all of my options even are?”
    • “What if I make the wrong decision?”

    Everyone has a different timeline for deciding what major to pursue; and everyone has a different decision making style. The key is to keep moving forward in your decision making process. Each step you take in your exploration process can help you to make a good decision - the only wrong decision is doing nothing at all.

    Decision-making includes a lot of information gathering. Set achievable goals for finding out more about possible majors. Examples of achievable goals in your decision making process could include:

    • Visit Career Services this semester in 230 Nebraska Union to ask about some careers in which you are interested
    • Read about majors on the Undergraduate Bulletin
    • Meet with a professor or academic adviser in a major you are considering to find out more about required classes and possible careers
    • Shadow a professional in an area you want to learn more about.
    • Get involved in a student organization you care about and sk students in the organization about how they decided on their major

    Get out a piece of paper and make a list of the pros/likes and cons/dislikes of majors you are considering. Examples of likes and dislikes could include working environment, autonomy, salary, your own interest level, skills needed, required courses, and possible careers. For each major, ask yourself these questions:

    • Do the pros outweigh the cons or vice versa?
    • Do you notice any patterns with what you put in your pro column and your con column (these are clues to what you value in a career/major)?
    • Could any of the cons be turned into pros? How?
    • Are there any majors that had more pros than cons? Would you be willing to look into those more as possible majors?

    Make a decision on a major using your decision-making style. Think about past big decisions you have made and the steps you took for making a decision. Are you a person who likes to:

    • Think and process through decisions out loud?
    • Gather a lot of information and organize your thoughts on paper?
    • Take time to think about your options alone before seeking input or advice?
    • Use logic and create specific goals during decision-making?
    • Make decisions quickly and based on what feels right?

    Visit with an Explore Center adviser or attend our Decision-Making workshop to learn more about how you best make decisions.

    After you have decided on a major, spend time immersing yourself in the major. For example, you could:

    • take a few courses in the major in one semester
    • join a student organization related to the major
    • visit with professors during office hours about your specific interests within the major.
    Evaluate whether the major relates to your interests, skills, and values like you thought it would. If you find that the major you have chosen is not a good fit for you, create a list of reason as to why and visit with an Explore Center adviser. It is ok to try a major and change your mind!
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Find Your Major

We are excited to work with you throughout your journey of exploring and deciding upon a major at UNL! Almost 1 of 5 students entering UNL are still deciding on a major, so you are not alone. It’s ok to begin your college career undecided!
Not every student travels the same path when choosing a major and we encourage you to work with an Explore Center adviser to create an individual action plan for your specific major exploration process!