Choosing a Major

Decisions about major and career choice can be both exciting and overwhelming. This page provides you with resources to help as you navigate this process. Self-discovery and personal reflection are a critical foundation for making these choices. You first have to understand who you are before you can make decisions about what you would like to do. Use this information about yourself to explore possible majors and careers of interest. Regardless of your major, you will develop essential skills applicable to many fields.

After this reflection and research, visit the Exploring Experiences page of our website. It provides information about engaging with opportunities and individuals to learn even more. Our Career Design team is happy to meet with you as you navigate this process.

"When students engage in [the] self-discovery process using interest assessments like Focus 2 to make a major selection, 61% of students stick with their chosen major."

-Focus 2

Attend the Career Exploration workshop, and other GOLD Workshops to provide you with guidance as you navigate the major and career exploration process.

Self-Discovery & Personal Reflection

Reflecting back on high school and college serves as the foundation for the learning of many competencies and success skills. These become critical components and factors throughout your personal and professional life. They defined personal identity, such as sense of humor, passion to learn, energy, commitment, and values. They helped enhance other individual aspects, such as creativity, imagination, and a willingness to take risks. College is a time for self-discovery, fun, and, of course, hard work. And self-discovery doesn't stop when you graduate. Life is a learning journey, and wisdom is one of the great outcomes of exceptional experiences, engaging relationships, and fantastic discoveries. *Please note: These resources are a starting point and designed to lead to additional conversation and exploration. All assessments are both valuable and limited. We encourage students to connect with our Career Design Center team to review and further discuss results.


Focus 2 guides students through a reliable, intuitive career & education decision-making model to help them choose majors offered at Geneseo, explore occupations & make informed career decisions. To access your FREE account, click on the logo, then click the "register" button. Type in the access code "knight" and complete your registration. From there, you will be able to take different assessments and learn more about different careers and majors. 

16 Personalities

16 Personalities is a Personality Test and provides an accurate description of who you are and why you do things the way you do. This platform will also assist with understanding others and provide community group engagement.

Designing Your Career Process

Designing Your Career Process is an interactive exploration tool created by the Yale University Office of Career Strategy. It applies design thinking principles to life and career decision-making.

Forage Career Quizzes

Forage Career Quizzes are an excellent wayfinding tool to use to get started with the self-discovery and personal reflection process.

VIA Character Strengths Survey

The VIA Survey of Character Strengths is a free self-assessment that takes less than 15 minutes and provides a wealth of information to help you understand your best qualities. Must register to take the assessment.

 Consider how you would describe yourself:
Interests What do you enjoy?


What are you good at?


What types of activities have you engaged in?


What is important to you?


What are your patterns of thinking, feeling, and behavior?


Consider Career Competency Areas

“A major does not equal a career. … Instead, a major translates into a set of skills upon which a career can be built.” 

~Santoro & Steward, 2015

Reflect On:

  • Which of the following career competency areas have you developed most to date?
  • Which areas do you have the greatest room for growth
  • How can you work toward developing these areas further?

NACE Career Competencies

  • Career & Self-Development
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Equity & Inclusion
  • Leadership
  • Professionalism
  • Teamwork
  • Technology

World Economic Forum Top 10 Skills of 2023

  • Analytical Thinking
  • Creative Thinking
  • Resilience, Flexibility, and Agility
  • Motivation and Self-Awareness
  • Curiosity and Lifelong Learning
  • Technological Literacy
  • Dependability and Attention to Detail
  • Empathy and Active Listening
  • Leadership and Social Influence
  • Quality Control

From the Future of Jobs Report

To help you answer these questions and engage in a reflective exercise, check out the Career Competency Areas page of our website.

Explore Majors

Take the information that you have learned about yourself to explore possible majors that may be of interest to you using some of these resources.

Review possible majors & minors

Browse the list of Geneseo courses

  • Which spark interest for you?
  • Are there classes you've taken that you have really enjoyed and why?

Consider the skills you will gain by pursuing a particular major

  • How would those skills be useful in the kinds of work you want to do after college?

Research the kinds of careers those potential majors may lead to.

  • Are you interested in those fields?

Do the majors you are considering support your:

  • personality preferences
  • career interests
  • skills
  • values
What motivates you?  


Seek Advisement


  • Meet with faculty in departments of interest to learn more.
  • In addition to meeting with a coach in Career Design, meet with an academic advisor or academic peer mentor in the Office of the Dean of Academic Planning & Advising (DAPA).

The Office of the Dean of Academic Planning & Advising assists current students, faculty, and prospective students think about plans for successfully navigating Geneseo curriculum. They help students explore potential majors and "right size" a major that doesn't fit. Geneseo asks that students declare a major by the time they have completed 60 credits. The major is declared by completing and returning the appropriate form, which is available from the Office of the Dean of Academic Planning & Advising, Erwin 106.

Here are the ways academic advisors and career coaches can support you:

Academic Advisors
Career Coaches
Discuss different majors/minors and
course offerings
  Discuss majors of interest and how they
translate to possible careers
Build a plan for taking different classes
and declaring a major
  Utilize assessment tools like FOCUS 2 to help promote self knowledge
Review general education courses that
complement your major and areas of
  Teach strategies for effective career research
Determine timeline for completion of
  Convey information about what employers are seeking in job candidates
Help you connect internships and other
kinds of applied learning to your course
of study
  Connect students with (and prepare them for) experiential learning opportunities (part time jobs,internships, volunteer work, etc.)


Try a class


  • What might be a good class to take to introduce you to a major or minor or interest? Talk with department faculty or the Office of the Dean of Academic Planning & Advising (DAPA) for suggestion
  • Check out EXPL 101: Geneseo First Year Seminar- one credit course for students who have not yet decided on a major. The course emphasizes study skills, major and career exploration, active learning, and academic engagement. Restricted to students who are undeclared majors.
Online exploration


  • Use What Can I Do With This Major online tool
    • Whether you're exploring majors or searching for information about your chosen field, this website will help you find popular careers and types of employers in these areas.

Explore Careers

Pair your exploration of possible majors with research on potential careers by using these resources and
strategies Conduct career research online using the tools below - all accessible from the 
Career Design Center Online Resources page of our website.


This website contains hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptors on almost 1,000 occupations covering the entire U.S. economy. Discover career ideas, connect with schools, and find resources based on your likes and interests!

Occupational Outlook Handbook

Explore to learn information about the nature of work, working conditions, training and education, earnings, and job outlook for 1,000+ different occupations in the United States.


Firsthand provides in-depth intelligence on what it's really like to work in an industry, company or profession—and how to position yourself to land that job. Take advantage of your FREE access:

  • Internship Database – find thousands of ratings and reviews of internship programs, requirements, sample interview questions, how to apply and more.
  • Job Board – search thousands of new jobs and internships posted daily, sign up for alerts based on your criteria, complete a profile and be seen by top employers and recruiters.
  • Company Profiles – rankings and reviews on industry reputation, career advancement, quality of life, salary & benefits, interview process and more.
  • Guides – over 100 titles of award-winning career guides, including interview strategies, job-search tips, and full-length profiles of leading companies.

Focus 2 guides students through a reliable, intuitive career & education decision-making model to help them choose majors offered at Geneseo, explore occupations & make informed career decisions. To access your FREE account, click on the logo, then click the "register" button. Type in the access code "knight" and complete your registration. From there, you will be able to take different assessments and learn more about different careers and majors. 

Visit the Exploring Experiences page of our website for more information about connecting with
opportunities and individuals to learn more about possible careers.



Phone: (585) 245-5721

Facebook logoInstagramLinkedIn


Mailing Address

SUNY Geneseo
116 Erwin Hall, 1 College Circle
Geneseo, NY 14454