There are more than 100 choices, and the one you make determines your future.
With nine interdisciplinary colleges and hundreds of different options, selecting a major can be a daunting task.
Although changes in majors are common for first and second year students, rarely do students decide to alter majors in their last few years at UT.
Stephanie Kit, associate director for Career Planning at Career Services, said she and her coworkers rarely encounter juniors and seniors wanting to change their major.
"We don't see it that commonly because sometimes when students are that far along, they are really better off staying in a major and looking for other ways to change their path," Kit said. "Quite often, you could go on and get a master's degree in a different field in two years rather than change your undergraduate major and stick around here."
But there are always exceptions. Recently, junior Emma Ferraro and senior Katherine Woods both underwent drastic changes in academic study.
Ferraro, a former biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology major, changed her major to mathematics with a minor in computer science in April.
"I was so set on being a BCMB major when I came to UT," Ferraro said. "It was actually the main reason that I came to UT. My parents didn't want me going so far from home, but I wanted to come to UT for the biology and medical programs it could offer.
"It took a lot for me to admit to my parents that I hated my major and really wanted to change to something I liked more."
A plan to enroll in pre-health courses is a common start for students who eventually decide to change their major, Kit said.
"I think that health care is certainly a pattern, because a lot of people are kind of familiar with those career roles in high school and even younger," Kit said. "So, they grow up thinking that they want to be a doctor or nurse ... I think students don't necessarily examine the curriculum, like they can see this end goal of being a pharmacist or a doctor but don't necessarily carefully sit down and think 'Do I want to take all these science classes? Am I going to do well? But also, am I going to enjoy it?'"
In July, Woods changed her major from nutrition with a pre-med focus to industrial engineering with minors in nutrition and reliability and maintainability in business.
"I have known since the second grade that I wanted to be a pediatrician," Woods said. "That's the only thing I've ever wanted to do, the only thing that I've ever considered, that was it for me ... I was just not happy, and so it's more worth it for me to take the extra time than it is to be miserable with my career choice and my life choice."
Of Woods' approximately 130 credit hours, only 30 transferred to her new major. She will now be graduating three years later than she originally planned.
With UT's recently-implemented model that encourages taking 15 credit hours a semester to graduate in four years, pressure is put on students to graduate on time. However, Melissa Parker, director of Arts and Sciences Advising Services, clarifies that this model is intended to help students manage time efficiently and stay on track.
"Our hope is that by following the uTrack plans, students will not only be on track, but they will also be able to determine earlier if their chosen major is a good fit," Parker said. "Ultimately, we want our students to graduate successfully in a field that excites and motivates them, even if it means taking an extra term or two to get there."
Both Woods and Ferraro said, although they were not anticipating a drastic major change and have delayed their graduation date, they do not regret their decision.
"There is a chance that I could be graduating on time if I rack up on my hours this summer as well as next year," Ferraro said. "But, in all honesty, I would rather be a semester behind and make sure I pass my classes than take them all at once to get out of here on time."
Likewise, Woods does not regret her decision. Rather, Woods is sorry she waited to make the switch.
"I just know that it's the right decision for me," Woods said. "I was drained before, and I can feel it and that I think is the biggest thing... If I had done it when I first started feeling this way, which was last fall, than I wouldn't have had to stay two extra years, which really isn't that much. It's that third year that really is the daunting one."