My Experience Switching Majors

Blog Post

Eliana Ahmoh Thumbnail Eliana A.

When I first entered Cornell, I was a communication major. Though I believed it was the right major for me, I engaged with different classes during my first year and realized I wasn’t as excited about the communication classes as I was for others. I knew I could explore more academic avenues in my Cornell experience.

Initially, I wanted to pursue journalism because I like learning about people and hearing their stories. However, I was quickly introduced to various classes, programs, and people at Cornell. My perspective grew, and I contemplated whether I would take full advantage of my newfound interests if I stayed in my original major.

Feedback from Coordinators

After talking to my family and friends, I set up a meeting with the undergraduate program coordinator of the Communication Department for her advice. During the meeting, I was scared that she would think my interests were everywhere and that I was indecisive, but she genuinely listened. I told her I had been exposed to other disciplines and wanted to learn more about socioeconomics and how to look at social inequalities holistically. I told her my interest in helping others went beyond documenting their stories to wanting to do more groundwork with organizations in the field to make hands-on change.

After listening to my thoughts, she recommended looking into the newly created global development major. After seeing how it examined the world holistically through many disciplines like sociology, economics, agriculture, and environmental studies, I decided to transfer. I also love how practical the major is; not only do we examine case studies in class, but also all students in the major must also complete an internship.

Starting the Transition Process

The undergraduate program coordinator for global development helped me with the transfer process. There were eligibility requirements like a GPA requirement and global development class requirements. I had the GPA requirement but had to work with the coordinator to add the required classes to my schedule because I needed to catch up. This involved making a four-year plan to ensure I would graduate on time with all of my requirements (this is especially important to consider if you want to go abroad or do any special programs). I also had to write a short essay indicating why I was interested in the global development major and how I would contribute to the major.

I submitted my application in the spring of my first year and was approved during the summer before my sophomore year. Now, I am officially a Global Development major and delighted with my decision!