Choosing a Major
Choosing your areas of study is one of the most important decisions you will make in your education. At Dakota Wesleyan, we are proud to offer a variety of majors and minors spread throughout our three distinctive colleges. By selecting a combination of programs, you can truly design a path of learning that is entirely your own.

Maybe you already know exactly what you want to major in. Perhaps you have always known that you wanted to be a doctor or a teacher or an accountant. If that sounds like you, then deciding on your major will be relatively straightforward.

Choosing a MajorBut what if you don’t know? Or, what if you know you want to major in accounting but can’t decide on a minor? Not sure what you want to major or minor in? Wondering what you want to do with your life? Overwhelmed by career decisions? The Center for Talent Development, along with your adviser, can help you explore your options and find the right combination of programs to help you become your best self.

The first step in choosing a major is to relax! The General Education program at Dakota Wesleyan is designed to help you explore your options and experience a variety of courses before making your decision. Faculty, your adviser, the Center for Talent Development and the student life department are all ready to assist you. And, if you’re really panicked, just remember: you can do anything and go anywhere with a strong liberal arts degree.

Your next step in choosing a major is to know and understand all of your options. Dakota Wesleyan offers 48 different programs of study. Some of these might interest you, while others will not appeal to you. A helpful way to narrow down your search for a major is to cross out each of the programs you know you are not interested in. Then, research the programs you don’t know much about (American studies? Behavioral science?) to see if they sound like a good fit.


At this point, you probably have it narrowed down to a handful of possible majors. Still have 15 possibilities you’re unsure of? Don’t worry! That is completely normal, and shows that you have a wide range of interests and talents. Take the list of remaining programs to your adviser or to the Center for Talent Development, and they will work with you to determine the best approach for your education.

Above all, remember: you don’t have to make this decision right away. Dakota Wesleyan allows you the time and freedom to make the best decision for you.

What can you do with THAT?A common misconception is that you must find a job within your major. While it is certainly logical, this is not a hard-and-fast truth; the skills you develop as a student at Dakota Wesleyan will help you in any field you choose to enter after graduation, regardless of your major. While some jobs do require certain courses (education, athletic training and graduate school, for instance), many employers are not looking for a specific major; they are, instead, looking for employees who have certain skills.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) 2011 Job Outlook, employers rated the following skills between ‘Very Important’ (4) and ‘Extremely Important’ (5):

Candidate Skill/Quality  Weighted Average Rating 
Communication Skills (verbal)
4.65
Strong Work Ethic 
4.61
Teamwork skills (works well with others) 
4.59
Analytical Skills 
4.56
Initiative 
4.50
Problem-solving skills 
4.48
Communication skills (written) 
4.48
Interpersonal skills (relates well to others) 
4.40
Computer skills 
4.38
Flexibility/adaptability
4.37
Detail-oriented
4.18
Technical skills
4.16
Organizational skills
4.05
Leadership skills
4.04

Worried about what to do with that theatre or creative writing major? ‘Creativity’ clocked in at a 3.70 rating! Dakota Wesleyan’s course structure is designed to promote these critical competencies in and out of the classroom, which means that you will emerge from college as a valuable employee no matter what major you choose.
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800-333-8506



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Dakota Wesleyan University was named to the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This designation is the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.
Dakota Wesleyan University is proudly affiliated with the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Members of any and all faiths are welcome and encouraged to experience an education based on learning, leadership, faith and service.
Dakota Wesleyan University has been honored as a College of Distinction through demonstration of excellence in these areas: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes.
Dakota Wesleyan University
1200 W. University Ave
Mitchell, SD 57301
800-333-8506
Copyright © 2014 Dakota Wesleyan University
605-995-2600
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