Student organizations are a great way to enhance your college experience. Through involvement in student organizations, you can meet people you might not otherwise, bolster your academic profile, and gain important leadership experience. We have spent the past few posts looking at the benefits of nationally recognized student organizations. Today, we will begin looking at student organizations through the university you attend whose membership is based on major.
Chances are your declared major has an undergraduate student organization. These organizations are usually run by students of the major with one or two faculty advisers. Unlike national organizations, these tend to be smaller and more specifically suited to their members’ interests and concerns. Because these organizations are based on major, they are a great way to foster relationships with people within your major and with faculty. While this might not seem all that important, these relationships are crucial upon graduation–both for professional growth and graduate school applications.
The only requirement for these type of student organizations is a major (or sometimes even a minor) in the discipline. While many people join as underclassmen, membership is open and available to you throughout your time in college. Because these organizations are smaller than their national counterparts, it is often easier to secure leadership positions as your time within the major lengthens. Remember, leadership positions are not only important while you are in school, they also give you an advantage when moving from college into the professional or graduate school world.
If you have yet to be invited to your major’s student organization, seek it out. Get on your department’s website or talk to your adviser. Often this kind of organization requires you to be a little more pro-active, but it will be worth it!