One of the frequently asked questions that I am actually getting tired to answer usually goes thus…

Hello Sir, my name is Wole, and I am a science student. I applied for medicine and surgery in UNIBEN, however, my UTME score is 191. Sir, what course can I study in the university? I don’t want to stay at home again.

Many candidates ask me this question simply because most of them don’t really understand what it takes to choose a course to study in Nigerian universities. To be very honest with you, it is not only the candidates that ask this question, parents do, too.

In 2019, a woman called in from Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria. We had a lengthy conversation over the phone and I’m going to share it here.

My phone rang and I answered the call.

Hello, you’re speaking with Julius. How may I be of help today?

She responded… good evening Sir! Is this UNIZIK admission office?

                I responded, NO.

She replied… oh, sorry! I got your number on a website when I was looking for a course for my daughter to study in UNIZIK.

Because I know that many students ended up studying the wrong course in the universities simply because their parents suggest it, I decided to spend few minutes on the phone with the woman. So, in this article, I will share some valuable tips on how to choose a course to study in Nigerian universities.

While this post could help you choose the right career for the future, it is not intended to change your mind against your wish or go against your parents/guidance instruction. This post is strictly for informational purpose and should not substitute your wish, that of your parents, guidance or councilor.

What you must know before choosing a course to study in Nigerian universities.

When I was very young, I always wanted to become a medical doctor. Not because I know what it takes to become a doctor, but because I love what I was told about them. Fortunately, my Dad also wanted me to become a medical doctor. So, because I wished to become a medical doctor and my Dad also liked it, it becomes very easy for me to focus.

Sadly, for many students, their parents wanted them to study something as against their wish. If you’re in this situation, the next few points will be very helpful to you.

Your interest: There are three main departments in the secondary schools in Nigerian; the Art, The commercial, and the Science department. Each of these departments has scores of courses that one can pursue career in. Sadly, most students only focus on Law, Medicine and Surgery, Mass Communication, Banking and Finance, and Accountancy.

If these courses are your interest, that’s fine. However, there are few more things you need to know about each of them.

You need to ask the following questions:

  • What subjects are required in order to gain admission to study your desired course in the university?
  • What grades are required for each of the subjects?
  • What is the historical UTME cut off mark for the course?
  • Which universities are doing the course?
  • How many years would it take to study the course?

Once you can provide answer to these questions, then you can now proceed to the next point below – your capacity.

Your capacity: one of the most popular sayings in the world is “all fingers are not equal”. Truly they are not. If you know this, then you will understand why some people are very good at mathematics and some people are very good in literature.

Before you can decide on which of the course to study in Nigerian universities, you must know your capacity. For instance, if your parents want you to study mechanical engineering, but you’re very bad at calculations, then this shows that you might have big problem in the university if you eventually gain admission to study mechanical engineering.

Likewise, if you’re very bad at chemistry and biology, but your parents want you to study medicine and surgery in the university, you might eventually drop out of school if you gain admission to study medicine and surgery, simply because your capacity cannot cope with it.

When you know your capacity, it will make it a lot more very easy for you to choose a course to study in Nigerian universities. Not only that, it will also help you to achieve excellent performance in school.

If you still don’t know your capacity, then I will ask you a few questions that may help you to discover more about yourself.

  • Which one do you like the most between reading your notebook and doing calculations?
  • In exam, do you prefer to answer calculation-based questions or not?
  • What subject do you like most and why?

If you could answer the above questions with sincerity, then you will be able to identify your capacity. With that, you are on your right path to choosing a good course for yourself.

Now we need to talk about the third important thing – the support you get.

The support you get: whether you like it or not, the support you get will affect your performance. For example, if your parents don’t like the course you’re studying in the university, you might feel so much discouragement most of the time.

Support is important. Financial, spiritual, and psychological supports are all needed in order for you to succeed in your academic pursuit.

During your study years in the university, you will need money to execute some projects, and feed yourself. You will need spiritual and psychological encouragement. Of course, there are people who went through this without any support, however, the percentage is extremely low.

So, for you, it is important to take note of these things before choosing a course to study in Nigerian universities.

If you’ve read through the entire article from the beginning to this length, I believe by now you should be able to choose a course to study without any challenges.

Kind regards,


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