Changing Course Halfway Through Studying

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You don’t know what to study; or

You are very passionate about which degree you want to pursue.

While you are in the middle of your degree, you are thinking about changing your current course.

What do you do?

Why the change in degree course?

No one expects to change their own course after committing to the degree pathway. So, why does the question pop up now?

  1. Lack of passion for the course and career options

Perhaps, you enrolled into the course because it felt like a safe option considering you may not know what to study. However, halfway through the course, you found yourself struggling to understand the concepts or show complete lack of interest in most of the subjects. It does happen to others who are still finding their passion; so, don’t feel ashamed or scared to talk about this.

  1. Clearer understanding of self


An alternate scenario is where you gain a clearer understanding of yourself through an elective you attempted or eureka moment! (Eureka is defined as the feeling of joy when you discovered something) You are more than certain that you are keen to study another field and will commit it. Again, there is no harm in sharing this with your family or course counsellors to help you decide on the next step.

  1. Stress and pressure

I have personally asked myself the questions of “Why am I studying so hard for this course? What is the point anymore?” It may not be you who is asking these questions; instead, it could be dictated by the stress and pressure that you are facing at this moment. If you are in doubt, do read above point 1 and 2 again.

  1. Too expensive to continue studying

With higher costs of living and expenses, it is unavoidable that university fees may increase unexpectedly while you are studying. This could add further burden to your parents especially without a loan or scholarship; and this is the last thing you want.

  1. Unexpected circumstances that you cannot control or avoid

Alas, unavoidable circumstances can put pressure to consider changing your degree. It could be opting to study in another university or shutting down of degree course. You are forced to look into either credit transfer or starting a new and different course.

What can you do?

my plan

  1. Reflect and introspect on your thoughts

If this is a personal decision, you may want to take some time out to reflect on your doubt. “Why do I want to change course? What happened? Is there anything I can do instead of changing?” This feeling could be temporary which would cause more difficulties if you intend to switch course anyway.

  1. Look at transferable skills between current degree and potential other degree

What is the other degree course that you are considering switching to? What is the similar transferable skills between current and the other degree? Would you consider completing your studies and then work in careers of the other field? This could work if both degree options require little technical expertise/knowledge.

  1. Make a comparison list

The classic comparison list can make it easier for you to compare the benefits and consequences of your options. Write down all your thoughts to have a better organization of your reasoning. It would make a more compelling case when you proceed to point 4 as below.

  1. Discuss with your family, seniors, and university counsellors who can give you objective answers

Fall back on your support system of family, seniors and friends, and course counsellor who can give you objective answers to your doubts and decision. Ask opinions from different perspective to gain insights of your dilemma which you may have overlooked. They may be able to offer alternate solutions as well.

Back to the important question – should you or should you not change your degree course? There is no true answer to this dilemma. What’s certain is that you are responsible in deciding what to do next based on careful considerations in terms of financial cost, time taken, and future career options.

This is, after all, your university journey, not others.


Written Melanie Mok

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