Career Planning

Statue of David L. Boren

Career Center

Career planning and decision-making is a continuous process requiring active involvement in the investigation of self, education, and career possibilities. There are two main approaches to choosing a major and relating it to a career goal:

  1. Choose a major because it is intellectually stimulating and develop a career goal gradually while progressing through the program; or,
  2. Decide on a career goal first and then choose a major that will provide the best preparation for that career.

Whichever method you use, it is important to identify your skills, interests, and values; to explore majors and their relationships to careers.

Developing educational plans and career goals are closely related, and the University offers a broad range of assistance to its students. Academic advisors from the various colleges and/or departments can help you select your academic major and plan a course sequence to fulfill degree requirements. In addition to the University College and the individual college and departmental advisement units, the following offices can be helpful:

University College Assessment Center, Wagner Hall,, (405) 325-4336

Career Center, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Suite 323,, (405) 325-1974

Co-ops and Internships

Cooperative education, internships, and practicums, which are available in a wide variety of settings, can make students’ academic study come alive by providing practical experience related to their academic goals. This experience can help students evaluate their career choices and enhance their employability upon graduation. More than 50 undergraduate fields of study offer positions, ranging from informal arrangements between a professor and a business colleague to formal, required internships. Some internships are paid positions; other field experiences may provide the opportunity to earn credit toward a degree while gaining practical work experience. Co-ops are always paid experiences. Visit the Career Center to identify openings and opportunities and contact the representative who coordinates specialized programs through your academic department. The Career Center will help you learn the job-search skills and techniques necessary to be successful in the application process. For additional information, contact the Career Center, 3rd floor Oklahoma Memorial Union, (405) 325-1974.

If you participate in the available programs and services, you can enjoy the satisfaction of the rich experiences offered by the University of Oklahoma. It’s your future; plan it wisely.

Career Planning Calendar

Freshman Year

Sophomore Year

  • Continue your appraisal of your personal interests, needs, skills, values, and goals.
  • Talk to individuals doing work of interest to you (informational interviewing).
  • Login to your Handshake account to update your profile and upload your resume for employers to view.
  • Take courses to assist you with career decisions (CAS 3091).
  • Attend events featuring employers such as career fairs or meetings sponsored by campus organizations, your department, or your college.
  • Join a campus organization related to your major or career interest.
  • Review the Handshake Job Board and apply for on-campus interviews for internships or co-ops.
  • If your career path requires graduate or professional school, research what education and credentials you will need in advance.

Junior Year

  • Enhance your job search, business etiquette, resume writing, and interviewing skills by attending workshops, watching webinars, and by using the resources available at the Career Center.
  • Actively develop leadership and communication skills in campus organizations.
  • Update your resume and have it critiqued by the Career Center.
  • Login to your Handshake account to update your profile and upload your updated resume for employers to view.
  • Review the Handshake Job Board and apply for on-campus interviews for internships or co-ops.
  • Research employers in your field through the Handshake Employer Database or online by exploring their websites.
  • Attend career fairs to expand your network and apply for internships or co-ops.
  • Enroll in a course to learn the most effective job search techniques.

Senior Year

  • Login to your Handshake account to update your profile.
  • Update your resume and have it critiqued by the Career Center.
  • Attend career fairs dressed professionally with resumes ready to distribute.
  • Attend meetings of professional associations as a student member to network with professionals in your field.
  • Look for opportunities to further develop your leadership skills through a campus organization related to your major or career interest.
  • Become familiar with the various job search sites online that are related to your career interests.
  • Review and apply for full-time postings on the Handshake Job Board.

Academic Planning Calendar

Freshman Year (0–30 hours)

  • Complete required freshman English composition courses (ENGL 1113 and ENGL 1213).
  • Complete General Education Math requirement.
  • Complete General Education First-Year Experience requirement.
  • Complete all other course requirements and any necessary application procedures for admission to the Norman campus degree college of choice by the end of the freshman year.
  • Complete any necessary testing for admission to major programs and degree colleges, such as the PPST (Pre-Profession Skills Test), as needed for admission to a teacher education program in the College of Education or the Language Skills Test for admission to a journalism and mass communication program in the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
  • Interested students not previously admissible to the Honors Program should apply for admission as soon as the necessary hours and grade point average are acquired.

Sophomore Year (30–60 hours)

  • Complete remaining requirements and the application procedures for admission to the degree college of choice at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
  • Complete required courses and application procedures for formal acceptance into such Norman campus programs as health and exercise science, journalism and social work.
  • Finalize decision about choice of major or run the risk of delaying graduation (some of the highly structured programs such as engineering require firm decisions during the freshman year).
  • Consider study abroad programs.

Junior Year (60–90 hours)

  • Consider double major, minor, and area of concentration.
  • Complete any necessary testing and application procedures for admission to professional schools (such as the MCAT and application to medical schools the second semester).
  • Request initial graduation check from degree college office during the last semester of the junior year.
  • Consider such post-baccalaureate options as Fulbright Grants and Rotary Scholarships.

Senior Year (90 hours and above)

  • All requests for program adjustments should be made no later than the beginning of the senior year.
  • Request final graduation check from degree college early in the last term of enrollment.
  • Apply for graduation during the last term of enrollment (applications should be submitted by December 1 for spring, March 1 for summer and May 1 for fall).
  • Satisfy all remaining requirements for the degree program, including courses, hours, grade point average, residence, and any additional requirements for anticipated distinguished degree.
  • Apply for admission to post-baccalaureate programs and complete any required testing.
  • Degrees are formally conferred at spring commencement. Degrees are awarded and diplomas mailed at the end of each semester and summer session.

It is the student’s responsibility to meet deadlines and all other requirements from the beginning of the freshman year through graduation. Information about deadlines and requirements is available from advisors.