Choosing Your Major

The following strategies can help you in the decision-making process. First, identify areas of interest with our Careers Assessment. Then explore majors you love and discover related careers -- or find careers you would enjoy and determine the majors to best prepare you for that field. Graduate with real and relevant experience by pursuing internships, co-ops, or research experience relating to your chosen major/career.

Online Career Assessment Tool

The FOCUS-2 Career Assessment offers computer-based career exploration that can help identify areas of interest and related career paths. To access the program:

  1. Obtain an Access Code by contacting Career Services.
  2. Once you have the Access Code, log in to the portal.
  3. Select "New Users", create a username/password, and complete the relevant assessments.

After completing the assessment, students are encouraged to visit with Career Services staff to discuss areas of interest, possible career paths, and relevant majors.

Explore Majors and Other Options

South Dakota Mines students begin by choosing a specific major, but you can change your major as you develop new or deeper interests through your classes and activities. We encourage you to explore different options and try new things. 

  • Degrees and Majors -- read about different majors and the careers they may lead to.
  • Minors and Certificates -- allow you to build strengths in different areas.
  • C.A.M.P. -- offers the opportunity to get involved with hands-on, team-building endeavors. Try something outside of the major you are pursuing; CAMP is open to all Mines students.
  • Education Abroad -- offers a way to enrich your academic pursuits by studying and serving in other parts of the world.
  • Student Organizations -- are a fun way to get involved in activities related to (or completely unrelated to) the major you are pursuing.

Tailor Your Professional Preparation

  • Thinking About a Career In Healthcare?
    You can approach a medical career with nearly any kind of undergraduate degree, but an aptitude for science is very important. Pre-Med students might pursue an undergraduate degree in chemistry, biological sciences, an engineering discipline, etc; or may opt for a Pre-Professional Health Sciences degree for pre-chiropractic, pre-dentistry, pre-medicine, pre-optometry, pre-occupational therapy, pre-physician assistant, pre-physical therapy, pre-medical radiography, pre-public health, and accelerated nursing studies. Mines students have interned with or observed professionals in oncology, neuroscience, occupational therapy, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, and trauma fields. Recent graduates attend medical schools throughout the U.S., including the Universities of South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Colorado. 
    Learn more about Pre-Med/Health

  • Thinking About Law or Public Policy?
    The Science, Technology, and Society (STS) specialization combines a strong science background with a firm grounding in environmental, social and science policy issues. Students pursue a science concentration or a minor in a science field, which is complemented by studies in areas such as political science, history, humanities, English, and philosophy. Mines students have attended various law schools throughout the nation, including the University of Minnesota’s Public Policy Program, and University of South Dakota’s MBA Program and Law School, as well as worked for the Bureau of Land Management, Disney, Pennington County Emergency Management, and AmeriCorps.
    Learn more about Pre-Law and Public Policy

  • Thinking About Becoming a Meteorologist?
    The atmospheric and environmental sciences degree program is designed for students whose career goal is meteorology or atmospheric research. Working with faculty from the Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences Program, students can take coursework to satisfy federal guidelines for the title of meteorologist. Through the Atmospheric Sciences Program, Mines students prepare for careers in meteorology to work at organizations like the National Weather Service, NASA, the Armed Forces and Department of Defense, the EPA, and major airlines.
    Learn more about preparation for Atmospheric Sciences

Graduate Studies

Many Mines students enter the workforce after receiving their undergraduate degree, but many also go on to graduate studies.  Learn more about graduate studies at Mines by visiting the Graduate Education section of our website.

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