If you’ve watched the new Netflix show Ginny & Georgia, you probably saw Ginny having dinner with Hunter’s family. Turns out Hunter’s sister is an English major at Tufts. Apparently, she likes exploring her academic interests at college a lot. But what really got me thinking was Hunter’s dad’s statement, “she’s finally settled after changing majors five times.” I’m here to tell you that this statement was an accurate depiction of how Tufts students change majors.
One of my favorite things about Tufts is the flexibility students have to change majors and minors. Most students change their major at some point throughout their years at Tufts. I believe part of this is due to the fact that students don’t necessarily apply to Tufts knowing what they want to do for the rest of their lives. But, I think a larger part of this phenomenon is that Tufts allows you the freedom to explore your interests and passions and perhaps find new ones.
Tufts’s curriculum, specifically for those pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree, is designed to support and encourage a sense of exploration. First, the university doesn’t expect you to apply with a major in mind, so you have the option to apply as undecided. Once you enroll at Tufts, you have two years to declare your major — and you can change it even after you’ve declared it. Of course, things are different if you’re pursuing an Engineering major. The School of Engineering requires students to declare their major by the end of freshman year. This is understandable given that Engineering majors have more requirements to fulfil than students in the School of Arts & Sciences.
Having two years to declare a major gives you a chance to take courses that you’re interested in or that you may not have had exposure to before. When I first came to Tufts, I wanted to major in International Relations because I wanted to work in Diplomacy. I had already declared IR as a major, but then I took a class with the Department of Economics and really liked it. I changed my major to Quantitative Economics. In the last semester of sophomore year I took a class called Introduction to Psychology. I learned about an area of Psychology that explores how human behavior influences the design of products — Engineering Psychology. I fell in love with it, so I switched majors again.
I believe an undergraduate education is supposed to be about exploration. Your years at school are a time to discover your strengths and weaknesses as a student, find out if a specific career is really for you, and which path you want to take in life after graduation. So, kudos to Hunter’s sister for allowing herself to explore!