How do I pick my classes, if I don’t have any idea of what I want to major in?

Major requirements

Since most majors require only 9-12 courses, you have ample time to explore. If you do not know what you want to major in, try a course or two in a variety of areas of interest and see where you are pulled intellectually. If you have taken only 2-3 courses in your major by the end of your sophomore year, you will still have four more semesters to take the remaining 6-10 courses, averaging about two courses in your major each semester. So, do not worry if you are uncertain about your prospective major, as there is ample time to explore during your first two years.

Note: If you think you want to pursue a major or pre-professional program with a substantial sequence of introductory or preparatory courses (such as some natural sciences, languages, or programs like pre-engineering), you should plan to take those lower-level courses as early as possible.

General education requirements

Part of the mission of a liberal arts institution is to encourage students to explore a broad range of topics and disciplines. Think of your general education requirements not as a punishment, or as hoops through which to jump, but rather as an opportunity to take courses you never imagined you might be interested in. They are a way of learning more about areas of knowledge which interest you, and which you may want to major or minor in—seeing such courses as exploration is key. Not as requirements, but as opportunities.

Courses beyond requirements

The requirements for a major and general education requirements will constitute about half of the courses you take at SLU. In deciding what else to take, you may pursue an additional major and/or minor(s), but you should be driven fundamentally by your intellectual curiosity and your vision of who you would like to be. What fields of study or topics would you like to know about as a person in the world? What skills would you like to cultivate and perhaps further develop after graduation? What kinds of big questions would you like to think about in a sustained fashion to become the kind of citizen you hope to be? Of course, one outcome of a liberal arts education is that you will learn how to learn and can teach yourself about any topic in the future, but college allows you enormous freedom to focus on learning what you care about in an environment more free of external responsibilities than you are likely to experience later. So, take advantage of this precious opportunity to study what you most want to know about.