Choosing a major can take time and exploration.

Choosing a major is a process. We want you to be able to explore many different academic areas in your first year.

Ask yourself some important questions.
What do I want to be known for? Who am I? What are my passions, gifts, and my purpose? Find Your Passion.

Explore academic departments.
Think about your interests and academic strengths. Cross out the majors that you know you have little interest in pursuing.

Take a class in an area that interests you.
Talk with your professor and peers who share this academic interest. Ask them about their path, what they have enjoyed and what challenges they have faced.

Visit the Office of Career Education.
Workshops and information sessions can give you new ideas. Meeting one-on-one with a career counselor can help you explore your interests, learn about careers, and find internship opportunities. Completing FOCUS, a computer based inventory, can help you learn more about careers that suit your values, skills, and interests.

Talk to people close to you.
Ask family and friends about their careers and how their education prepared them. Often the people who know you best will see skills and potential in you that you haven't yet realized. 

Meet with an academic counselor.
Academic Counselors in the Office of Academic Success can discuss the major requirements of a variety of disciplines and can help you assess what might best suit your academic interests and strengths.

Volunteer or apply for an internship.
Ask to shadow someone who has a career or educational background that interests you. These experiences will give you a sense of the day to day job expectations and how well they match your academic interests.

Talk with your academic advisor.
New student advisors are broadly trained to help students plan their academic path.

Get involved.
Attend seminars on campus. Join a student group that is related to an area of academic interest. Take on a student leadership role. And finally, ask lots of questions!

The value of a Hampden-Sydney education is not in learning a set of skills. Had I gone that route, my skills would long ago have become irrelevant. The strength in the Hampden-Sydney experience is in learning to think, to argue, to adapt, to interact, to inquire, to listen, and most important, to write - that is, to express thoughts clearly.

Marshall Manson '96, CEO, Ogilvy & Mather UK

But remember: your education at Hampden-Sydney is much more than your major.

At H-SC, you will need 120 credits to graduate. About half of those credits will come from the Core Curriculum. The Core is the most important thing you will do here. The Core Curriculum is designed to help you learn to communicate effectively, think critically, work collaboratively, and solve problems creatively. This is what employers want! Thirty to thirty-four of your total credits will come from your major. Your major is a chance for you to focus more narrowly on an academic discipline that interests you. You will be more successful if you choose an area you enjoy! Employers want people who are passionate and driven. Students will find that once they complete the requirements of the Core Curriculum and their major, they have 26 - 30 credits left to complete. Use those credits wisely! They can become a second major or a minor. They can also become a carefully-crafted selection of electives that can help you reach your career and life goals. No class is "just an elective!" Students can choose electives in any area including creative writing, business, art, public speaking, computer science, languages, and many more. This is a chance for you to customize your degree to get the most out of the Hampden-Sydney experience.

Majors & Minors

Major & Minor Checklist


Find Your Passion

Reflect upon who you are most authentically, what you value most deeply, and what the world needs from you.

Find Your Passion

Career Field Preparation

Find out how H-SC can guide you through what it will take to achieve your goals in your chosen career field.

Career Preparation