At UW-Madison, there are over 150 majors you can choose from. With all these options, it will benefit you now and in the future to take time to explore majors.
There are lots of ways to explore majors! Research information online, attend events and other opportunities on campus and in your community to learn about what interests you, and connect with career advisors to discuss your ideas and receive support throughout your exploration process.
Learn About UW-Madison Majors
Looking for a great place to start your major exploration process? Use the Guide to view a list of majors which you can filter by interest area.
When you click on a major, you’ll first see an “Overview.” Read that carefully to see if the major interests you. If it does, then you can click on the other links on the right side of the page for more information.
If you’re interested in biology, UW-Madison offers more than 30 different majors related to the biological sciences.
Pro tip: Read the course descriptions for every major you’re interested in! Click on “Requirements,” then “Requirements for the Major.” This will help you decide if that major is truly interesting to you.
Think About the Bigger Picture
Majors are just one piece of your college experience! They are also just one of many things that employers and graduate programs care about. Reflect on how your major(s) will fit with the many other important aspects of your Wisconsin experience.
Here are just a few ways you can build a robust student experience at UW-Madison:
Connect with the Career Exploration Center
Exploring majors at a large university can often be challenging and confusing. Career Exploration Center advisors are here to help you navigate this process. Schedule a virtual appointment today!
The Career Exploration Center offers major exploration events each semester, such as our How to Choose a Major workshop. Learn more about upcoming virtual events.
Frequently Asked Questions
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How do I pick classes for next semester when I don't know my major?
We encourage you to pick classes that sound interesting to you, which will help you explore major options. It’s also important to keep in mind prerequisites for the majors you’re considering. We recommend you make an appointment with your academic advisor to help make sure you’re staying on track.
Where can I get information about UW-Madison majors?
Check out the Guide which contains information about every major at UW-Madison.
- From the homepage, under “What Do You Want to Study?” click on “Undergraduate Study.”
- From there, you can explore majors within your interest areas. When you click on a major, you’ll first see an “Overview.” Read that carefully to see if that major interests you. If it does, then you can click on the other links on the right side of the page for more information.
- Pro tip: read the course descriptions for every major you’re interested in! Click on “Requirements,” then “Requirements for the Major.” This will help you decide if that major is truly interesting to you.
- We also encourage you to set up an appointment with a CEC career advisor to talk through your interests and options.
I have too many ideas for majors. How can I narrow down my choices?
The more you know about a major, the better you’ll be able to determine whether it’s a good fit for you. Try to learn as much as you can about the majors you’re interested in:
- Read about them in the Guide
- Talk to an advisor in the major to find out more. In the Guide, under the “Advising and Careers” tab for each major, you will find information about setting up an advising appointment. Many programs also offer virtual drop-in advising or information sessions where you can ask questions about the major.
- Talk to other students in the major. Try to find out what they like (and maybe don’t like as much) about the major.
- Take an introductory course in the major, if possible.
- Consider things such as: what prerequisites or core classes are required, and do I want to take those classes? What are the problems and solutions this major considers, and how interested am I in delving into those? What kind of research opportunities does this major offer?
- Talking over your interests with a caring career professional can help you gain more clarity about your choices. Learn how to make an appointment with a CEC advisor.
I applied to or intend to apply to a limited enrollment program. What should I do if I don’t get accepted?
It’s always wise to have a parallel plan in case you don’t get into, or you decide against, your intended major. Please make an appointment with your academic advisor and/or a CEC career advisor to talk through your interests and goals, and to discover which other major(s) may be right for you. In the meantime, check out other possibilities through the Guide.
What kind of jobs can I get with the major I’m considering?
That’s a complex question with many possible answers! Many careers don’t require a specific major, and the vast majority of majors don’t equal one specific career. Most majors can lead to a wide variety of careers. We encourage you to make an appointment with a CEC career advisor to find out more.