The purpose of the Action Guide is to help you evaluate the probability of being successfully admitted to a high-demand major. By working through this Action Guide, you will be able to compare your own subjective beliefs about your qualifications with the objective information you have gained about a program and its admissions statistics.
Complete the four exercises in the form below and then answer the reflection prompts at the end. If you would like type or draw out your responses, you may use DrawIsland, Word or the drawing tool of your choice; save the file and upload it below.
Step One: Reflect on Major Fit
In this step, you will reflect on why you are interested in the major you are considering. Complete the "Initial Self-Assessment Exercise" questions (posted below Step 5). Return to Step 2 when done.
Step Two: Identifying Your Credentials
In this step, you will be gathering the information needed to apply for this major/college.
- Your Transcript: Get an unofficial copy of your transcript (available here) and find your cumulative GPA.
- Intended major admission information:
Find the major/college that you are interested in pursuing and look at the pre-requisite courses, GPA requirement, and other additional admission criteria. You can find this information by visiting the college or majors transfer page by visiting this link.
- Prereq Courses: Look at the list of prereqs needed to apply to this major or college. Use the table below (called Prerequisite Courses) to list the courses you have taken already and to identify the courses you have left to take.
- Required or Suggested GPA: Find the required or recommended cumulative GPA for your intended major. Compare your cumulative GPA with the recommended or required cumulative GPA for the major you are applying to. Use this information to complete the table below (called GPA Analysis). If your GPA is lower than the recommended for admission, use the GPA calculator to see what it will take to close the gap.
- Additional Criteria: Identify other kinds of work or volunteer experiences, recommended coursework or personal qualities that are considered during the application process.
You now have all the information and materials necessary to assess your current candidacy for this program.
Step 3: Compare your Current Credentials to the Admission Criteria
Now that you have all the information needed, use the chart below (called Major Review Exercise) to help you compare the recommended admissions criteria to your own credentials. List each admission criteria in a separate box in the "Admissions Criteria" column, and then list your own credential in box next to it, under the column "My credentials for this criterion". For each item, rank the strength of your credentials in comparison to what is recommended for admission. A score of 5 means your credential for that item are very strong, and a 1 means you need considerable work in that area. View this PDF as an example of how to complete this part of the exercise.
Step 4: Assess Your Application
Pretend that you are a member of the admissions committee for the high-demand major you are applying to. Review your application using the admission criteria. Think about the overall strengths and weaknesses of your application in comparison to the admissions requirements. Would you choose to ADMIT, DENY, or WAITLIST your application? Why? Write an answer to these questions in the box below (called Assess Your Application)
Step 5: Answer the Reflection questions in the Reflections section below.
Kent, Nicole. Reality check: Advising students out of a major. NACADA Pre-conference 2009.
Waters, Theresa. (2012, January 27). Helping students let go: Advising out of a major. OSU Advisor Coffee Talks. Retrieved from blogs.oregonstate.edu/.../files/2012/02/Helping-students-let-go.pptx