I hope everyone is weathering midterm season okay so far! Not to cause panic, but this means that enrollment for next semester is actually going to be starting up pretty soon. This can, understandably, be an extremely confusing and stressful time, especially if you’re still considering what majors (or even minors) to pursue. With so many different options to explore in L&S, this can be an overwhelming decision and this guide is to hopefully point you in the right direction in making that choice!
  1. Use the Berkeley Academic Guide to explore all the different majors that not only College of L&S, but the entire university, has to offer. Feel free to poke around the site, take your time choosing a few majors on the list that seem interesting to you, and familiarize yourself with some of the requirements you need to fulfill for that major.
  2. If your list has a ton of majors on it still, stop and think for a second. Why are you interested in these specific majors? Is there a certain theme of interest that ties them together? It is completely fine to do some soul-searching – ultimately, this is a major that you should be enthusiastic about studying!
  3. Once your list is more manageable, go speak to individual departments. Each department has their own major adviser that can tell you more about not only the major requirements, but also more generally about what studying that field will be like.
    1. Also, don’t underestimate your fellow students and friends! Often speaking to people you know who are already in the major is the best way to understand the major from the student’s perspective.
  4. Keep in mind, there are several majors that are considered “high demand” and may have different requirements for declaring said major. Check this list for those majors.
    1. In the case of high demand majors, it is strongly recommended that you have a back-up major in mind. Often times there are majors that are very similar to high demand majors that have many overlapping requirements.
  5. I would suggest planning out your prerequisites for all the majors that are still in contention. Figure out which ones overlap and really begin to focus on 1 or 2 majors that you would truly be interested in pursuing.
  6. Can’t choose between 2? There are options to declare a double major or simultaneous degree. This is a possible option, but do keep in mind that the workload will be heavier as you are required to complete the requirements for both majors.
  7. Can’t double major, but still really interested in two fields of study? Many of the majors in L&S also offer minor options as well.
This definitely isn’t a comprehensive list, or a list that necessarily needs to be followed in this order. Do always remember that you should speak with L&S College Advisers throughout this process, whether it is exploring different majors or figuring out whether a double major fits within your plan at Cal.
And one last spiel. Keep in mind that a major does not equate to a career. A major is not a be-all-end-all. Choosing a major is a process in which you choose an academic field that truly interests you. If you choose something your heart is in, everything else will follow. Good luck everyone and go Bears!

 

-Priscilla, Peer Adviser