Do students have to pick a specialty right away or can they wait to see what they're most interested in?

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Our counselors answered:

Do students have to pick a specialty right away or can they wait to see what they're most interested in?

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

Do students have to pick a specialty right away or can they wait to see what they're most interested in?

It all depends on the particular school, but they'll know that way in advance of applying.

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

Do students have to pick a specialty right away or can they wait to see what they're most interested in?

At some schools yes, and at some schools no, just like an art or music school.

Patricia Aviezer
President Inside Track To College, Inc.

Do students have to pick a specialty right away or can they wait to see what they're most interested in?

I Need To Learn in a Program that's "Hands-On!" People learn in different ways, and for some, getting an education in an environment that applies the knowledge learned in a classroom directly into a work situation or "hands-on" laboratory helps them stay engaged and build their knowledge base. Many high schools today have programs that offer sophisticated career-centered knowledge within a classroom/lab environment that provides the skills necessary to succeed in the workforce or to continue to learn in a apprenticeship program, technology center or college setting. After graduation from high schools, many local 2-year colleges or "Tech Centers" offer a wide range of training opportunities to gain a skill in a brief period of time-anywhere from 6 month to two years. Some of these programs will provide an "intro" course that will allow you to explore your options, but more often than not, the learner is expected to come with a "focus" in mind. Students who attend these programs can be "new" high school graduates or people who have reentered the learning environment after discovering that they need additional skills to succeed and advance their careers. Explore the cost and make comparisons between what is offered privately and what you may be able to access at your local community college, some of these educational institutions can be very "pricey." Examine at the beginning where their graduates are placed after graduation to determine which investment of your time and money is best for you.

Megan Dorsey
SAT Prep & College Advisor College Prep LLC

Do students have to pick a specialty right away or can they wait to see what they're most interested in?

A number of arts programs may force you to declare a specialty when you apply. In these cases you may be required to audition as part of the application process. If a school only admits 24 musical theater majors a year and they need a balance of men, women, voices, etc., waiting to see if you like musical theater may not be possible. However, if you have applied for visual arts and don’t know if you want painting, drawing, sculpting, printmaking, etc, you may have more flexibility. Unfortunately, like so many other college planning questions, the answer. Do your research online and feel free to ask the admissions office to help you contact professors in the arts who can give you specific answers.