Choosing a Program

At Lakehead, we have many program options for you to explore. Here's some guidance to help you decide!

As you start to make some key decisions for your future education, choosing a program and in some cases, a major, can be a difficult decision. Everyone is different. You may know exactly what you want to do with the rest of your life and how you are going to get there. But others may be weighing a number of ideas and options.

And that's okay...Don't worry! You are not alone.

New experiences, academic and career investigation, and testing the waters are all valuable parts of a university education. Whether you have just finished high school or college or looking to embark on a new educational journey, you may not have had exposure to the types of subjects that we offer at Lakehead University.

Most students have never experienced studying disciplines such as Sociology, Women's Studies, Forestry, Outdoor Recreation, Business, Indigenous Learning, or Social Work. How are you supposed to choose a program without ever having the opportunity to get a taste of these different subjects? This is why all programs have electives so you can do some investigation of different subjects during your first and second years.

When you do choose a program, take heart - it is not set in stone. The average student across North America will change their program 3 times and then change careers several times during their lives. Many parents, funding agencies, and students themselves are searching for a concrete decision to be made up front at the beginning of the university experience. That will limit your university education and your university experience.

The whole reason for a university education is so that you will experience new ways of thinking about and experiencing the world. Why would you want to limit your experiences?

What is a Program Major?

  • A major is a concentration of courses that will focus and shape your academic, intellectual and developmental experiences.
  • A major should interest and excite you.
  • A major will be one third to three quarters of your total coursework depending on which major you choose.
  • A major is only one piece of the educational puzzle.
  • A major does not necessarily define your career path!


Lakehead University offers over 55 transformative programs for you to consider. From the arts and sciences to professional programs, we have a program to fit any interest across our two campus locations in Thunder Bay and Orillia. Here's some tips to help you think about choosing a program at application time:

  • Think about your favourite classes you are currently taking. What do you well in? Which classes are you most excited about? Follow your passions.
  • Talk to faculty, friends, family and other students about their careers and major choices. However, don't get too caught up with your future job. During your university years, your interests and passions will evolve as you explore new fields you didn't even know about.
  • Evaluate your skills. How well do they match your interests? Narrow down your choices by doing research into different areas.
  • If you are undecided but you know you want Humanities (English, History, Philosophy), apply to a Humanities program and see if you like it. There are more than enough options for electives built into the first and second years that you can change your mind later.
  • If you know you want to be in Science but are unsure which specific major, use your first year electives to try out your options to help you figure it out.
  • If you are unsure and want to explore your options throughout your first year, consider the Lakehead Arts One or Science One programs. These are two great options to help you discover what we offer and explore your interests before making your choice.
  • Many of our programs also offer options to combine your program with Concurrent Education providing you with an education and credential to become a teacher. Other programs also include options such as Minors, Major Concentrations, Specializations and Certificates - all ways to explore other areas of interest in combination with your primary area of study.
  • If you are not sure whether to apply for a 3 year or 4 year program, apply to the 4-year Honours as you can always go down, but you may not be able to switch up. An Honours program offers you a more in-depth study in your field and opens up the door for future graduate studies, and study in professional programs. Plus, certain careers will pay a higher salary for graduates with a 4 year Honours program!


Sometimes. If you are entering into Nursing, Engineering, Social Work, or Education you will be eligible for direct entry into a profession. However, even in these cases, the number of career options are not limited to one particular profession.

Sometimes not. If you are a Sociology major you are being prepared for a wide range of career options that require the analytical, critical-thinking and communication skills you'll develop during a Sociology degree. Investigate different career options and find out the educational background of people already in those positions. You'll realize that an undergraduate education gives you the skills to do so much.

Don't stress out! There are hundreds of combinations of majors available at Lakehead University. This is a good thing - you have options.

Do some investigation. Check out where our alumni are now and the exceptional and unconventional careers they have pursued with their Lakehead degree.