I’ve read articles stating that 80% of College students change their major at least once. Therefore, picking a College solely because of their reputation in a field of study you are interested in is probably not a great idea. On the other hand, if you think you want to be an Engineer, you might as well pick a College with a strong Engineering program. The question is, how do you find Colleges with strong programs in your intended degree?
If you are already keen to do a particular thing, you should certainly consider Colleges’ reputations in that field, but not as the only variable when considering a College’s Academic qualities. Maybe you start out in Engineering and then decide you would prefer to be a Surgeon. If the College you chose for Engineering has a good Science/Pre-Med program, then great. Otherwise you will be wondering if you should transfer Colleges. But keep in mind that if you are looking at years of post-undergraduate schooling to obtain a Masters or higher degree, maybe a College with a pretty good Science program is all you need for undergraduate school.
How do you figure out which Colleges have a strong program?
- Check to see where accomplished Professionals in that field of study attended College.
- Ask those accomplished Professionals which College programs they hear good things about. You may hear that Professionals in that field went to a mixed-bag of undergraduate Colleges, but generally attended 1 of 5 strong Graduate schools.
- Research options on the internet, in articles, publications for that field of study and various College-Search resources.
- Clarify your research with an Admission Officer or with a knowledgeable Professional: is the specialty at this particular College more research-based when you are more interested in tangible applications? Is this particular College, which is listed in many articles as strong in writing, really strong in creative writing, while you are interested in non-fiction?
As you find potential Colleges with strong programs in your field of interest, add them to a spreadsheet. This spreadsheet tracks Colleges with Strong Writing Program, as an example.
Have you found a great resource for learning about strong College programs? Please share it by adding a Comment.