Can I apply even if I don’t know what I want to do for a career?
Absolutely! Deciding what to do when you graduate can be tough when you already have plenty of decisions to make right now. One option you can check out is doing general studies in your first year if you’re not sure what path you want to take. That will give you a chance to try a variety of courses to explore your interests and get a feel for university.
It’s important to always keep in mind you should try to find a program that matches your interests. You will have a much better chance of success no matter where your career takes you.
How do I choose a program?
Picking a program to study at university is a personal decision and there’s no right or wrong way to make up your mind. Think about the things that interest you, the things you’re passionate about, and see if you can find a program that matches those. If you’re not sure, talk to your guidance counsellor to get feedback and help you make your decision.
Students will sometimes focus on how much money they will make when they search for a program. That’s not a bad question to ask, but if you apply to a program that doesn’t speak to your interests, you might find that you won’t enjoy it as much and your grades might reflect that.
That doesn’t mean you should avoid certain careers just because you have other interests. In fact, there are lots of programs in arts and sciences that will give you a good foundation to launch a career no matter what you want to pursue.
What’s the difference between a major and a minor?
Your major is your specialty, the main focus of your program and what will be printed on your degree when you graduate. For example, if you study French, you could graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in French. The subject of your major will be what the majority of your classes focus on, although you will have the freedom to explore some other subjects too.
Your minor is a sub-specialty, a subject you have studied in depth, but not as much as your major. You don’t have to take as many courses to earn a minor in a subject, and sometimes you can mix and match different minors and majors.
Still have questions? Check out more definitions
How long will I be in school?
Undergraduate programs usually last four years, although they can take more or less time depending on your program or school. Work placements in certain programs can also extend the total amount of time you’re in school, even if you don’t spend all your time in the classroom.
If you decide to continue in school after your undergraduate program — for example, if you want to become a doctor or a lawyer — you will have to spend another three or more years in school before you begin practicing.
Should I look for a program that includes work experience?
Having work experience is always a plus when you’re looking for a job. If your program offers a work term, co-op, or internship, you should consider it an added bonus. You will graduate with a solid combination of classroom and real-world experience. These experiential learning opportunities can be found in arts and science programs, as well as professional programs.