I often encounter students who can’t decide on a major. Usually this is because their mindset regarding a subject is too narrow. However, there are numerous paths to a fulfilling career and here is a list of a few majors with a multi-career approach.
Students curious about the intersection between environmental systems and diverse historical, cultural, social, economic, and political structures and processes which affect populations may be interested in Geography at UC Berkeley. The major covers such broad-ranging topics as the culture of cities and the dynamics of the global economy; race, gender, and social movements; glaciers and climate change; and the origins of agriculture. In Physical Geography, students study why the Grand Canyon is what it is. In Economic Geography, they might study the roots of the late 90’s Asian Crisis. In Political Geography, ethno-religious differences and at conflicts around the world and their causes are part of the curriculum.
American Studies, Law and Journalism
Students with a degree in American Studies have moved into careers as diverse as journalism, law, medicine, law enforcement, environmental planning, teaching, library science, museum curatorship and business. American Studies at UC Davis recognizes that the culture of the United States is a distinctive blend of traditions and institutions from around the globe with innovations and concepts unique to this country. The program offers students an understanding of how America’s many cultures contribute to the tapestry of American society. Through the study of interpretive works, folklore and folk life, and fine and popular culture, American Studies majors celebrate the diversity of American experiences and examine difficult questions about race, gender, class and other factors that affect American lives.
A strong background in statistical and mathematical analysis is an advantage for students who seek careers in business, finance, administration, operations analysis or law. Students wanting to develop those skills in a social sciences major might consider Quantitative Economics at UC Irvine. Specializations include Game Theory, Economic Risk and Uncertainty and general options like Economics of Crime, SVoting and Political Manipulation, Program Evaluation, and Energy Economics. An array of research and internship opportunities with industry professionals and public officials are all available to undergraduates in the major.
Balancing social sciences, humanities and the arts, the Chicana and Chicano Studies major at UCLA promotes critical thinking about such issues as gender, sexuality, social action, language, race, ethnicity, class, assimilation/acculturation paradigms, and indigenous traditions. Students choose to concentrate in Border and Transnational Studies; Expressive Arts; History, Literature and Language of the Americas; or Labor, Law and Policy Studies. This interdisciplinary approach combined with community service prepares students for a variety of careers both in the U.S. and abroad. Students in this major may also fulfill the language requirement for the major through a Study Abroad experience in either Spain or Mexico.
Public Health at UC Merced is an interdisciplinary field drawing on the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities to promote health, prevent disease, prolong life and improve quality of life through organized efforts by society. Through activities ranging from basic research to frontline efforts such as vaccination programs, promotion of healthy lifestyles and environments, disease control, and leadership on health policy formation, the field of public health makes diverse, far-reaching contributions to societal well-being. By developing diverse skill sets including quantitative abilities, critical thinking, and presentation, students qualify themselves to enter fields ranging from laboratory science to policy development.
Political Science and Culture
Political Science provides an understanding of basic political processes and institutions operating in different national and cultural contexts. It encompasses political systems and ideas, as well as the analysis of political change and stability, political behavior, political values, justice, national security, and international affairs. The major provides career opportunities in a variety of areas including law, government service, education, journalism, and business. UC Riverside offers not only a general Political Science major, but additional Political Science options: (1) Political Science/Administrative Studies offers courses on policy, business and administration. (2) Political Science/International Affairs. Political Science/law and Society focuses on judicial politics, law, and politics. (3) Political Science/Public Service includes preparation on civic engagement, ethics, statistical analysis and government and non-profits. All include internship options and the potential for three-year pathways to graduation based on prior credit received, course availability and student schedules.
The Education Studies major at UC San Diego provides a foundation for the study of education, focusing on four domains. These include Education in a Diverse Society; Learning and Development; Introduction to Learning Contexts; and Educational Research and Evaluation. This program provides the resources for students to combine interactive academic coursework, hands-on service-learning experiences, and a deep understanding about the relationship between research and educational issues.
The Global Studies major at UC Santa Barbara is one of the first programs in the nation to offer a degree with contemporary as well as historical globalizing trends as its central theme. The Global Studies major provides a well-rounded liberal arts degree that will help prepare students for a variety of careers in the international arena, although it is not strictly a business-oriented major. It will, however, help prepare students for further graduate study in international affairs, international business, peace and world order studies, area studies, and the emergent global civil society. Many students in this major fulfill major requirements in study abroad programs.
Community Studies is the oldest interdisciplinary program at UC Santa Cruz. It focuses on social justice and integrates classroom learning and extended field study. The undergraduate core curriculum begins with the development of skills in social analysis and field observation/participation, while deepening students’ knowledge of specific histories and theoretical perspectives essential to the study of communities and social transformation. Next, through the six-month full-time field study, students engage with specific communities through residence and participation in an organization with a social justice mission. This intensive and extended immersion is a distinguishing feature of the community studies major. Finally, students return to campus to analyze their field study experience and its relation to their ongoing classroom-based learning. The major culminates with a senior capstone project integrating academic coursework, field study analysis, and original writing.