By Holly Landis - Written for Colorado State University Admissions blog
Article also featured here.
So you’re planning to transfer to CSU and begin the journey to become a Ram. You’ve read through all the steps to apply as a transfer student and are now very knowledgeable of the admissions requirements, All that’s left is to decide which major you intend to pursue.
You pick a potential major and realize it is listed as “competitive”. Several questions are buzzing through your mind: What does this mean? Is this going to be a long and difficult process? Is there anything I can do at my current institution that will help make this process easier?
As a transfer student myself who pursued a competitive major, these same questions flew around in my mind. I am now proud to say that I’m declared in a competitive major, so I understand the stress of the situation. I, myself successfully became a Journalism and Media Communication major and will be graduating with my degree in that field this Fall! I’m here to share the tips and tricks I picked up as I went through the process myself.
What exactly is a competitive major?
First, let’s break down the definition of a competitive major and what that means for transfer students.
A competitive major is an undergraduate degree program that you are only able to declare if you have completed certain requirements beforehand.
These majors include Art, Biomedical Sciences, Business Administration, Computer Science, Engineering and Journalism and Media Communication.
For transfer students, the requirements are different than what is needed from freshmen or first year students. They typically include coursework requirements you’ve done beforehand. Click here to view transfer specific requirements.
How do I get accepted into a competitive major?
Next, let’s talk about what you can do to meet these requirements.
The sweet part: As a transfer student, you don’t need certain SAT or ACT scores when it comes to meeting a competitive major requirement.
The not-so-sweet part: for all of the competitive majors (excluding Art) there are certain classes that need to be taken beforehand. It can be difficult to determine if your classes are the correct ones,or if your school offers those specific courses at all.
Luckily, there are some tools you can use to help determine this, and some guidelines you can follow while taking courses at your current institution.
So now you know everything you need to declare yourself as a competitive major. But what happens if you are still unable to meet the requirements when you apply to CSU?
Don’t feel discouraged, there’s still hope. You’re most definitely not the first person this has happened to.
As a transfer student, I first came to CSU hoping to pursue a business major, but was unable to meet the requirements. At first I was upset, but then decided to take a variety of classes to see if there was a new path for me. While taking classes I found that I had a passion for journalism. I met with professors and students in that major and found myself meeting the requirements needed to declare it for the next semester.
Here are some helpful tips I picked up as I went through the process:
If you have over 60 credits from your institution, you won’t be able to come in as Undeclared. You can, however, pursue a non-competitive major and then request a major change once you’ve met the requirements.
The transfer process can be stressful. Trying to meet requirements for competitive majors can make the situation feel even more nerve-wracking. It’s important to plan everything out ahead of time, take it day by day, and reach out to as many resources as you can find.
Following these tips that I picked up as a competitive major will help you pursue the major that you love. Good luck on your journey. With hard work and commitment, you can graduate in a degree program that could bring you one step closer to pursuing the career of your dreams.