Advice for Open majors, or students deciding between two majors
Major Academic Pathways (MAPs)
Some students begin their academic experience with a very good idea of what major they plan to pursue. Others are undecided between several areas. Some students start out with one idea and change it along the way as they take classes. And finally others are completely open. These are all valid places to begin. Most students will have settled on their direction by the end of sophomore year, although Albany students can declare their major after earning as few as 24 credits.
Below you will find information on each of the majors offered at the University. There is a short description of the major, as well as a link to view the four year plan of coursework involved in completing that major. These plans are called Major Academic Pathways (MAPs). The MAP details required courses and also shows how Minor and General Education requirements can be completed in conjunction with this major – all in four years.
There are a couple of majors that are interesting to me
If you haven’t yet decided between two or more majors, review the MAP for each area. Identify any progress you’ve made on each, and note what the next suggested courses would be. Review the Department Advice for each major. Then go to the " Create Your Educational Plan" link and choose "I don't know what my major is going to be but I have read the information about open majors and I am ready to create an educational plan."
I’m an Open Major. How do I choose a major?
Our advice is to think about the kinds of things you would like to learn, rather than try to connect your major subject with a job or a career. If you are able to identify coursework you enjoy, this will often lead to a productive and satisfying major. We know that all liberal arts majors will prepare you for your future. Your choice of major will not determine your career field. Rather, the competencies you develop as a college student and the experiences you accumulate will lead you to positions in a wide variety of careers.
If you are unsure of the field in which you would like to study, think of choosing a MAP as simply a starting point – where would you like to start your college career?
To identify the MAP you would like to follow, read through the department descriptions, click on the related MAP, and review the departmental web sites. We hope that this information will help you to identify your interests and focus on one or two areas for now.
Although these MAPs are major specific, following a MAP at this time does not prevent you from changing directions in the future. Your advisor will work with you to tailor your MAP to your needs. You will see that most MAPs include just one or two classes specifically oriented toward the major, and then also provide for general education and minor coursework.