WEB EXCLUSIVE: Major Fair offers options to undecided students

The Columbian School of Arts and Sciences hosted its first Major Exploration Fair Thursday in the Marvin Center to provide undecided students a full scope of the majors GW offers.

Students who have chosen majors used their experience to advise undecided individuals at the fair.

Senior Jami Cole, who is a journalism major, answered questions at the information table for the School of Media and Public Affairs. She advised students searching for a major to try a mix of classes. Classes students find interesting are a good starting point for a major search, she said.

Cole suggested that students should get familiar with the staff in their prospective school.

“It is best to go by and get your face recognized,” she said. “There are millions of applications, but if there is one application that they can put a face to, that greatly improves your chances.”

Cole said advising undecided students can be intimidating.

“They come here looking for direction; if what you have to offer is what they want to do for the rest of their life,” she said.

Kerin Hilker, a CSAS professional academic advisor, stressed the importance of speaking to a professional in a student’s specific area of interest.

“If a student wishes to pursue that same field, it is great to have (a professional) as a contact,” she said.

Officials recommended students visit their academic advisor if they want further guidance.

“We hope that this will also facilitate the relationship with the faculty advisor,” Hilker said.

Faculty answered questions about major and minor prerequisites, and whether students would be able to meet the requirements to graduate on time.

“Coming here today and talking to someone who’s been through the process made me less weary to committing to something over the next three years,” freshman Blair Lawhon said.

Freshman Elizabeth Miller said she enjoyed the fair, but thought it was more tailored to students who had more direction in choosing a major rather than students who are entirely undecided.

“There should be more suggestions of how to pick a major,” Miller said. “Maybe speaking to someone about the process of harnessing your interests, instead of just sets of tables where you are expected to know where to go.”

Students filled out forms to declare their majors or minors on the spot. CSAS students must declare their major by March 1 during the second semester of their sophomore year or they cannot to register for fall classes.

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