Explore Majors & Independent Minors

The first step in choosing a major is to understand who you are, and be confident in identifying your values, skills, interests and motivations. 

What is a Major?

A major is a concentration of courses focused on a specific academic discipline or field.  Your major will allow you take courses in an academic area of interest, help you to gain knowledge around the discipline, and foster skills that you may then apply towards internships and post-Brandeis plans. There does not have to be and often will not be a direct, linear relationship between your major and your post-Brandeis plans. You may alternatively decide to minor in an area of study that will allow you to focus your academic work in a particular discipline, though less rigorously than a major.

Great skills in college help to lead to great things in life.

Faculty think discipline, employers think skills. From a career development perspective, you will develop a specific set of skills and knowledge areas through your major. For example, an East Asian Studies major will develop critical thinking, writing, speaking and social perceptiveness skills; a neuroscience major will develop laboratory, complex problem solving, data analysis and inductive reasoning skills. These abilities, in conjunction with the skills you develop in your other courses, activities, internships and roles, will be useful in your decision making process as you consider internships, jobs and graduate programs. Learn what skills and knowledge areas are developed in each major, and how Brandeis alumni have gone on to apply those skills through Hiatt’s major pages.

Things to Think About

As you consider various majors:

  • Did you reflect on your strengths, skills, interests, and values?
  • Are there specific extra curricular activities that you enjoy and seem to always join?
  • What do you imagine your major to be like?  Don’t be afraid to scribble down anything and everything. 
  • Reflecting back on the classes you’ve taken thus far, do you see a trend towards any one department?
  • Perhaps you know or have an idea about what you want to do after graduation. What skills and knowledge would help enhance your role in that field? Does that correlate with any major(s)?

Things to Do

  • Look through the Bulletin or the department class listings online and note which classes you find interesting. 
  • Seek in-depth information about Brandeis majors, including alumni in these majors and what they are doing now.
  • Talk with professors, advisors and upper-class students regarding possible majors.
  • Attend “Meet the Majors” and information sessions within academic departments and with employers.
  • Make an appointment with your academic adviser.
  • Make an appointment with a career counselor at Hiatt to discuss your strengths, skills, interests and values, and how your major decision making might impact your career decision making in the future.