As frustrating as it can be to have to answer the quintessential “college” question over and over, it’s worth pondering. Your major will take up a line on your resume, either impress or frustrate your parents, and give structure to the hours of your college years not spent partying away weekend nights, cheering on the basketball team, or enjoying fine dining at O’Donovan Hall. Georgetown’s faculty recognizes how important your decision on a major is, and for that reason, students in all four undergraduate schools are encouraged to wait until sophomore year to choose a major.
Of course, plenty of Hoya freshmen begin the year armed and ready with a major in mind. When faced with such students, deans will work with first-years who are committed to a certain major to help them begin taking courses that relate to that major sooner than sophomore year, but many such students end up changing their minds, and the postponement of the major decision allows those changes of mind to occur before one has committed to a major. The process of selecting a major and mapping out the courses that need to be taken in order to complete it can be a daunting task, but it is not one to fret over as a freshman. Spend year one on the Hilltop taking courses that interest you and that satisfy your school’s distribution requirements, all the while distinguishing between the subjects that stimulate your mind and those that leave it wandering. Core curricula are designed to let you experience a range of departments at Georgetown so that you can eventually choose a “home” where you will be happy for the remainder of your time here.
A major will influence your course selection at Georgetown, but it will not pigeonhole you into a post-graduate path. International politics majors are not condemned to life in the foreign service, and English majors actually can find well-paying jobs. (Anglophiles, keep that one up your sleeve for Thanksgiving dinner.) Researching careers that may interest you throughout your college years is well worth it, but remember that you’ll hardly ever be barred from working in a field based on your major.
At right, meet a sampling of Hoyas, all of whom demonstrate that there is no one right path to intellectual happniess at Georgetown.