Are you thinking of changing your major?

Drew Jones

Nearly 80 percent of students entering college aren’t certain what they want to major in, even if they’ve already declared a major, according to research done at Purdue University. That same research also found more than 50 percent of students end up changing their major at least once.

Kent State students are no different, with many students changing their majors for a variety of reasons.

One Kent State student who knows what this is like is sophomore communication studies major Carli Renner.  

Renner has changed her major numerous times — so many times that she said she has lost track of the total number.  

“I changed my major a lot freshman year,” Renner said. “I think I changed it six times. I came here for fashion, and after a week, I knew it wasn’t for me. I then tried out public relations, journalism, then back to public relations and then back to fashion.”  


All of this change might stress some students out, but Renner said it can be a positive thing.

“I think changing majors is a lot of fun,” Renner said. “I feel like you get a whole new agenda of what you want to do. My dad is always like, ‘What’s your major?’ It’s fun; it’s like a mystery. It always gives me something to talk about.”

After changing her major numerous times, Renner said she finally thinks that she is in the right major.  

“I’ve actually been in my major for a year now,” Renner said. “I’m in organizational communication, and I really love it.”

Though Renner said she has enjoyed finding her major, some Kent State advisers might not find her selection process to be the best, such as Andrea Hauser, an academic adviser for the College of Architecture and Environmental Design.

“Changing your major isn’t something to take lightly or quickly,” Hauser said. “My biggest concern isn’t necessarily why they want to change, but it’s where they want to go and if they are making an informative decision. Someone who has changed their major more than a handful of times probably wasn’t making the most informed decision.”

Hauser said she has a two-step conversation with students who want to change their major.

“They might decide this isn’t a good fit, but they don’t know what else is, so that’s a two-part thing,” Hauser said.  “Or, as other students might say, ‘this isn’t a good fit, but I know what else is’. The next conversation is, ‘How did you determine that this wasn’t the right fit, what brought you here to begin with, what do you want to change it with and what research have [you] done to come to this conclusion?”

Sophomore business major Logan Maholm is following Hauser’s more traditional route to changing his major.

Maholm said he is strongly considering changing his major to hospitality management.   

“There’s a lot of reasons why I want to do it,” Maholm said. “A big reason is just because I don’t think it’s for me anymore.”

Just like what Hauser recommends to her students switching their majors, Maholm said he has put in the research and received advice from many people about his decision.

“I try to meet with my adviser as often as I can, and we talk about my grades and my future in a different major,” Maholm said. “I told my family a long time ago, and they’re behind me with any decision I make. I have a good friend who is a hospitality management graduate, and he’s given me good advice for what to expect.  I have to talk to a lot of people who know this major because I don’t want to be stuck in something I don’t like.”

Students considering changing their major should talk to their advisers about the reasons they want to switch and other majors they are considering, as Hauser said.

If an adviser approves the change, students can go to the Student Tools and Courses tab in Flashline and click on “Change Undergraduate Program” under the Advising section.

Contact Drew Jones at [email protected].