Download Full Text (323 KB)


Social norms, parental desires, peer influence, and money. Some students resort to these extrinsic motivations to choose their major, while ideally, students should be utilizing intrinsic motivations to inform their decisions. Choosing a major can be a difficult process for first-year students, as the complex and stressful decision influences a multitude of future implications. This study connects the motivations first-year students at the University of Dayton used to choose a major to their self-identified satisfaction and sense of belonging as they approach their sophomore year. Findings provide a glimpse into the procedures that first-year UD students prioritized and how their satisfaction and sense of belonging has been affected while at the institution due to choice of academic program. Satisfaction and sense of belonging are integral to understand further due to the retention and persistence consequences for student and institution. Attendees will walk away from this poster presentation with a framework for understanding the research and strategies for advising students who are embarking on, or inundated in, the multifaceted processes of choosing a major.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Abd El Nasser A Abd El Razek

Primary Advisor's Department

Counselor Educ & Human Servs


Stander Symposium poster

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction With my College Major:
Impact of Motivation to Choose a College Major on First-Year Students’
Satisfaction and Sense of Belonging