Liberal Arts and Sciences · Majors

Choosing my major

Students that follow Liberal Arts and Sciences at UCG get the opportunity to follow different courses in various major fields in their first year. This is amazing, because it gives you the opportunity to explore which field you like best and which field you excel in. At the end of the first year, you have followed six courses in different major fields and you can choose your major wisely. Choosing your major is an important step towards the Liberal Arts and Sciences degree, since the major specialisation is the vital part of your obtained degree. Right now, I’m in the process of choosing my major, since I’m at the end of my first year, so let me explain my thought process.

UCG broadly offers three different major fields: Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities. Within these fields, you still have an enormous amount of freedom; you can choose your own courses, a specific specialisation, and the mathematics course you could like to follow. The most important choice you have to make at the end of the first year is in which major field you would like to start your second year. A few weeks later, it is also expected that you broadly know what kind of courses and major specialisation you would like. I have always been interested in Social Sciences, specifically the fields of psychology and politics. My main interests are international relations, law, politics, and psychology. Therefore, I was already sort of sure that I was going to choose the major field of Social Sciences. The major field of Social Sciences is split up into two majors: Brain, Behaviour & Culture (BBC) and Politics, Philosophy & Economics (PPE). BBC focuses on psychology and the influence of humans on the world, whereas PPE focusses on reviewing global issues through politics and economics. My choice was mainly between these two majors. Since most of my interests lie in PPE, I decided to choose PPE, with the idea of always being able to follow some courses or a minor in psychology.

Right now, my plan is to follow the PPE major and focussing on international relations rather than economics. I love politics, law, and international relationships, but have to admit that I’m not that good at economics, especially not when there’s calculations involved. Therefore, I decided to focus mainly on international law and political philosophy and make a nice major with the theme of ‘international relations’. UCG has developed several major specialisations in which you are guided through the huge number of courses by already preparing a course plan for you. For example, I will probably be following the major specialisation of Politics, Philosophy & International Law (PPIL), a major specialisation within PPE. This includes courses such as ‘Introduction to International Law’, ‘Models of Democracy’, ‘Political Philosophy’, ‘European Law’, ‘Philosophy 101’, et cetera. With this major specialisation, you are trained to work in an international environment, knowing something about both international law and politics. I am so interested in all of these different courses and working environments, so I can’t wait to start my second year and follow this major.

I appreciate the fact that UCG gives her students proper guidance in choosing the major and choosing the related courses, for example by preparing a major specialisation for her students and having tutor talks about the major choice. But I love the fact that UCG doesn’t take this guidance too far: students still have a lot of influence and power in choosing their major, choosing their courses, and choosing the entire form of their degree. Even if you choose to follow a certain major specialisation, you can still customize it to your wants and needs and make a perfect degree for yourself and your future. This combination of guidance in the decision-making process and freedom in choosing your degree is what signifies UCG and what I love about it. I was able to choose my major wisely by deliberating with my mentor and following a lot of preparatory classes on the different majors, but I still felt like I had the ownership over my degree. I will follow the major specialisation of PPIL, but will still be able to customize everything and make everything perfect, and this is exactly the reason why I chose Liberal Arts and Sciences at UCG. Can’t wait for my second year to begin!

By Josien Scholing – First year student

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