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Guide to Choosing a Major

Choosing a major is an important and difficult process that deserves time and exploration. There are many people at SU who can help you make this important decision and find ways to maximize your overall educational experience. This process is unique to each student and thus, we advise our students to go through the major selection journey by making their own decisions.

In this guide we will walk you step-by-step through the process. Then you’ll be well on the way to finding the right major (and minor) for you. Additionally, we also encourage you to unveil the truth behind some common Major Myths and attend Major Fest 2021.

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Step 1: Know YourselfStep 2: Gather Information About MajorsStep 3: Discuss Your PlansStep 4: Make a Final DecisionStep 5: Declare a Major

Knowing your interests (what you enjoy), skills (what you do well), and values (what motivates you) is the first step in your major exploration journey. Below are some ideas on how to begin to assess your interests, skills, and values, as they relate to choosing a major.

We recommend that you complete the exercises that follow:

  1. Create a list of your non-academic and academic interests (activities that you like, classes which you enjoyed the most) and skills (activities that you do well, classes in which you perform best). 
  2. Create a list with your strengths.
  3. Create a list that contains areas in which you need improvement/development.
  4. Consider your personal study and work styles.
  5. Create a list with your academic and professional values (what motivates you).
  6. Keeping all of the above in mind, envision your best and worst job scenarios.
  7. Ask yourself: Am I thinking only of career expectations, or am I looking at majors I can be passionate about?

Do not forget that it is important to know which jobs, fields, and careers fit your personality and your skills. You can do your own research online or contact the Sabancı University Career Development & Internship Office for further information on jobs and career options. You can also check the Useful Resources list, especially the section Exploring Career and Occupational Interests on the Career Office website.

The next step you need to take is to gather information about the major programs available at SU and investigate a list of possible majors. We recommend that you consider the following actions:

2.1. Make Desk research

At this stage making research is essential!

You can start the research process by reading SU faculty websites and checking the information about each available undergraduate program. As you explore the website of each program that interests you, think about the following questions:

What courses will I take?

Check the courses you will take for each major that interests you and think whether you generally like the classes that the program offers.

Who are the faculty? 

Check the faculty website to reach the faculty profiles. Take time to look at professors’ research interests and publications. Knowing this information can help you decide on a major and refine your goals, and also might help break the ice when you meet a professor for the first time.

What opportunities are available for undergraduates?

Check for opportunities such as undergraduate research programs, internships and project work.

What kind of careers do students in the major pursue?

In addition to the information published on each program’s website, you can also review the Undergraduate Program Brochures, which contain useful information about possible career fields and present data about the departments, sectors and companies, in which SU alumni from these programs work.

2.2. Attend Major Fest

Every year we host Major Fest in the spring term. This event encompasses various activities designed to support your major and minor exploration journey – career-related seminars, program presentations and alumni panels. It also gives you the opportunity to meet with faculty members, alumni and senior students from each program.

All SU undergraduate students who have not yet made their program declarations are encouraged to attend Major Fest.

The event is held in English and attendance is voluntary.

Further information about Major Fest and registration is available here.

2.3. Take a Short-term Internship

SU Career Development & Internship Office organizes a Job Shadowing Internship Program on an annual basis.  Job Shadowing is a program that allows first- and second-year Sabancı University students to start learning about the job market and career opportunities by gaining insight into the inner workings of corporations. This two-week program during the semester break in January gives students their first experience as interns. Students can select which career field and workplace they would like to explore.

Further information about the Program and the application requirements are available here.

2.4. Attend Various Career Events

The SU Career Development & Internship Office organizes a number of career events throughout the year, designed to help students discover jobs and industries, make informed choices, and gain the competencies they will need in the future. Various career events such as: Personal Development Seminars and Trainings, Career Events for Professional life, and Career Events for Academic Life are available. Follow the Career Development & Internship Office on social media for news and announcements. Further information can also be reached here.

SU Student Clubs also organize various seminars and career-related events which you may find useful. A list with SU Student Clubs and their pages can be found here.

At this stage, it is important to discuss your major and career plans with family members, friends and other people who have graduated from this major. BADA Advisors (CIAD Counselors) and Career Counselors can also help you in your major exploration journey.

BADA Advisors can help you understand the degree regulations, program requirements, credit systems and can refer you to the right units and people in order to help you find answers to all your questions.

Career Counselors can help you learn more about yourself and your professional areas of interest, they can support you in career planning, job choices and CV writing and preparation for interviews.

You can schedule an individual appointment with BADA Advisors and Career Counselors online. 

You can also directly ask for appointment from each Undergraduate Program’s Diploma Area Advisor to learn more about particular programs.

Your decision about your major should be based on your interests, skills, values, and goals, and your research. Your decision should not be based on what your family and relatives want you to do or on what other people do.

 

Students can declare their majors at the end of their 2nd, 3rd or 4th term during the major declaration periods, as announced in the Academic Calendar. Watch our Declaration Guidelines Tutorial and follow the Student Resources Declaration website for further instructions.