July 21, 2015

Major Decisions

Paving a Career Path

To be an English major, or not to be an English major, that was my ultimate question. At the first group advising session of my freshman year, I sat as the only pre-law hopeful out of the 15 other pre-med students surrounding me. Was I choosing the wrong major?

Despite the popularity of the pre-med track, the College of Arts & Sciences offers an extensive list of majors and minors for students to find a successful and satisfying career path. If you develop a significant interest in a field of study outside your major, you may pursue a minor or even design your own special major/minor.


Don’t feel pressured to rush into a decision early on -- you have until your sophomore year to declare your major/minor. In fact, freshman year is the time to explore your options by taking diverse and interesting classes in order to find a path that’s right for you. If you find yourself panicking over which courses to take, always remember that your four-year advisor is here to help, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them for any questions you may have!


With the experience of declaring a major/minor under their belt, rising juniors in A&S share their reasons for pursuing their respective career paths.


Allison Swimmer


I came in freshman year having no idea what I wanted to major in, and I took Intro to Education during my second semester at a friend's recommendation. It made me realize that there is so much more to the field of education than teaching, and I continued to take two more education classes the following semester, which confirmed my interest in pursuing an Educational Studies major. My classes for this major have covered important issues in American society such as poverty and racism and how they affect education. While I am an Ed Studies major, which focuses more on issues in education and different aspects of the field, there is also a teacher certification major. I hope to go into the field of education policy after graduation.


Nathan Greenberg

Hi! My name is Nathan Greenberg, and I'm a rising junior from Cambridge, MA majoring in the Global Health & Environment track of Anthropology with a minor in Psychology. I am interested in pursuing local public health in the nonprofit sector, and I am particularly interested in working on the issues of hunger, nutrition, and obesity. The research and evidence-based methods of Anthropology and Psychology have shown me the importance of taking the time to understand both the work and the communities that I want to help before I jump in to provide services. I'm excited to make a meaningful difference in the communities that are important to me!


Damola Adedokun

I’m a pre-med student, but I like having fun and I like being happy. So, my choice was easy. I wasn’t going to major in Physics or Chemistry. My interest lies more toward people actually, how we interact, how we develop into the people we are today, and why. Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology (PNP) was a perfect fit. Even though I knew coming in as a freshman that I wanted to do PNP, actually being in the program has truly developed my thinking skills. The best part about the major is the breadth and the balance. I get to take a mix of classes from the humanistic side (linguistics, anthro, philosophy, psychology) as well as underlying biological mechanisms side (neuroscience, biology). For the class of 2019,  I would just say follow your heart and then find a way to make some serious cash for your passion.


Brooke Barrow

Hi! I'm a rising junior on the pre-med track at WashU and am also majoring in History with a double minor in French and Psychology. The pre-med curriculum is definitely challenging, but not impossible by any means! One of the reasons that I chose to attend WashU is the collaborative atmosphere. In my experience, the professors and TAs have been easily accessible and want to make sure that the student really understands the material, and other pre-med students have always been willing to help me understand a tough concept or study together. Another reason I love WashU is that I have the freedom to explore my other interests. I'm passionate about history and majoring in the humanities provides a great balance to all the science and math courses.


Matt Wong

Hi, I'm a rising junior in the process of completing a major in Psychology. Within my major, I am doing a Supplemental Concentration in Experimental Psychopathology. I initially became interested in Psychology after taking Intro to Psych the fall of my freshman year. I went to the TA of the class and ended up becoming a research assistant in the lab that she works in.  I am still working in the same lab today and am about to start my own project on personality disorders. So, that is how I became interested in Psychology, and I am very glad I chose this path.
Anna Belle Hoots