Spotlight: Alex Hollander, ’21

Today’s Spotlight is one of our Exploring Group’s Peer Leader – Alex Hollander. She is a junior who changed her major from Nursing to Health Sciences. Below she has provided tips on how to go about changing or declaring a major.

Do your research!

Finding a new major can be difficult. It’s best to start by finding information about all your options. I suggest going through the majors and minors list for UVM online to see what grabs your interest. You’ll want to ask yourself- what do you want to learn more about? This is a great way to begin the search and find out what you like versus don’t like. Once you’ve identified a major that you’re curious about, go to that major’s department’s website to learn more about it.

Talk to your advisor and/or an advisor in a major of interest

Your advisor is a great resource. Schedule a time to meet with them and talk about your values and interests. This can help them suggest majors/minors that might suit you. They can also answer questions about your online search and further questions you have, they may even recommend you speak with an advisor in the identified major to make sure you understand what that chosen major entails in terms of credits, classes, and possibly what students have gone on to do professionally if this is a question you have.

Meet with the Exploring Interest Group to do a major sort

The Career Center has great resources. The Exploring Interest Group is for students that aren’t sure about what they want. We do an awesome major sort activity where we run through all majors at UVM with you. We will help you narrow down your options to where you can actually start planning on a major.

Run What If reports

Once you know what majors might be the one for you, running a What If report is the next step. Finding a major you like and a major you want to study is awesome, but only if it is feasible. For many of us, you want to find a major that allows you to graduate on time. So, a What If report will tell you what classes you would need to take for the particular major you’re exploring. By doing this, you can plan out how much time you have left at UVM with the potential new major.

Watch some educational videos on your major

Finding a new major might mean going in a new direction. I love CrashCourse videos on YouTube because they cover so many academic areas. If you are looking at a major you have never taken a class in, or even if you have, it’s worth doing some final investigating before committing yourself to it. Watch a video, see if the information actually interests and excites you.

We hope this can help you get started on choosing or switching a major. If you have further questions or need more assistance, please make sure you attend the upcoming Majors/Minors Fest on Tuesday, October 29th in the Davis Center from 1pm-3pm.