Hiram College

Declaring a Major

Choosing a Major

We take major selection seriously at Hiram College and we realize that what you will do after graduation may not neatly match up with a specific track. Whether you've always known what you want to study or you are weighing many options, we encourage careful reflection about your skills, gifts, talents and values as you think about the change you want to make in the world.

Major Declaration

More than 50 percent of Hiram students begin their freshman year “undeclared.” You’ll be expected to declare a major by March of your sophomore year, but we’re confident you’ll feel ready, thanks to close work with your advisor and the Office of Career and Academic Development, including:

  • thoughtful selection of classes
  • conversations about the kind of work, service, study and other activities you feel the most passionate about
  • discussions about what you see yourself doing – in the realm of family, career and hobbies – not just after graduation, but in 15, 25 and 35 years
  • tests and assessments give insight into your personality, strengths, values, skills, and more

Through your major, you will deepen your knowledge and skills within one discipline. This major should best harness your aptitude and interests as a learner. It’s also a bridge to a career; however, the translation from major to career need not be direct or obvious. All majors offer “transferrable skills” which can be carried into many fields of work. As you work to satisfy your major, you’ll be taking progressively more advanced courses within the discipline.

When declaring your major, your advisor will also discuss with you potential minors and/or second majors which might help you meet your personal and career goals. Because all majors contain elective and interdisciplinary coursework, most students who choose a second major and one or more minors still graduate in four years.

Connect Requirements

The second step of Hiram Connect, the major declaration, asks students to share with their advisor, in a formal reflection, their interests, aspirations, prior preparation, worries, sense of purpose, the degree of understanding of the field they are choosing to enter, and their sense of possibilities that this field provides. One purpose of the major declaration is to promote intentionality and thoughtfulness in choices regarding career and calling.

For students to declare a major, they must submit a personal statement to their advisor that follows that specific major’s writing prompt. Click here for more information on the writing prompts.