Specializations

Also known as Majors & Minors

Whether you study Shakespeare or Foucault, social psychology or business cycles, as an Arts student you study the world in human terms. Over the next few years, you will acquire a profound understanding of humanity: how we think, behave, communicate, create, trade, form societies, and interact with our environment.

The Major-Career Connection

The concern you have over a future career path is one that many students share. Often students choose their career before they choose their major, which in effect, leads to a lack of awareness of other existing careers that may be a better fit.

Some careers and majors do not always appear to directly relate to each other. Many people have careers that have many possible major paths. The Arts degree provides enough flexibility for you to gain skills needed to perform a range of careers.

“You are a liberal arts major, and you will pave your road to success as you go along. You understand that a degree is not a destiny, and that success is a journey, not a destination. You will be hired for who you are, not what your major was. Presumably, those are some of the reasons you chose to be a liberal arts major. Now is the time to continue building on what you have accomplished and confidently take the next step on your journey.”
– G. Giangrande, The Liberal Arts Advantage

Discover your career path here!

Myth-busting

Most students know what their major is when they enter university.

While some students are aware of what they would like to major in when they start university, many only have an idea of what they would like to do.

Some students who start out thinking they know what they want to major in change their minds once they have taken a variety of courses. They then choose a major that is more in tune with their new interests.

When I choose my major, I am also choosing my career path.

Your choice of major does not necessarily mean you have chosen a career path. It is up to you whether or not your major dictates your career. You may choose your major because you wish to specialize in a career after you graduate. To learn about careers with specializations, do your research to learn more about different fields and sectors – you may be surprised about what you find.

For others not wishing to specialize in a particular career path, your major and degree provide the flexibility that will open up your options for a career. Many who choose a certain major often work in a field that is completely different from their specialization.

I should take all my general courses and electives first before choosing a major.

Taking all your general courses and electives first is not recommended and is not the most effective way to decide on a major. Also, many upper-level courses you may want to take as an elective have prerequisites. While you do need to fulfill your degree requirements, take each year to explore some courses in other disciplines that interest you.

I am stuck with my major once I choose it.

Your choice of major does not bind you to the program. After you choose your major, you are still free to switch to another major that better suits your interests. However, you must keep in mind the following if you are thinking of switching:

  • Depending on how far you are into your program, you may have to take additional courses to fulfill the credit requirements of the major you switch into. This may have a few costs attached with respect to finances and delaying graduation.
  • The program you switch into may be competitive. (But this doesn’t mean you can’t submit your application and give it a shot).

There is one perfect career for me.

Different careers can offer new opportunities and satisfaction. The options open to you will be based on your personality, skills, and ability, which you can build upon through involvement opportunities during your undergraduate years. Even if you have your heart set on that one perfect career, there are often different pathways to get there.

For more information, visit the What can I do with my major? webpage on the Centre for Student Involvement and Careers website.