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Prior to starting college, I had always thought about double majoring but wasn’t too sure if I would actually go through with it. I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in the political science field, but did not know what other major I could do that would connect with it or that was interesting to me. The summer before my senior year, I took two college courses at my local community college, philosophy 101 and psychology 101. Both of these courses were super interesting to me, but I liked philosophy a lot more. I became very fascinated by the type of questions that philosophers would answer as well as how logically thought out everything had to be before philosophers were able to even answer part of the question.

Finally, when I started my freshman year in college, I did all the research possible to try and add my double major fast. I found out that I needed to have completed at least one quarter before I could apply to be a double major. The moment it was my winter quarter and my final grades had been posted, I made my way to the philosophy department and began asking for signatures from the necessary faculty to be able to declare my double major. Within two weeks, I was officially a double major in political science and philosophy. By taking both these majors, I have had the following major benefits in my academic career:

  1. Finishing in three years

This was really beneficial to me because I want to continue school by attending graduate school. By finishing in three years, I would be able to save money for graduate school as well as finish my entire academic career slightly earlier. I have always wanted to be able to graduate college earlier so that I wouldn’t be a financial burden to my parents. I am the first of two siblings so I know my parents will still be paying for one more child’s college career.

  1. Having different professors

This is really awesome to me because I am able to have a variety of different professors throughout my academic career. If I had only one major there would only be a selective number of professors that I would get the chance to interact with or even learn from. With both majors, I am able to meet and interact with new professors that have knowledge on different topics. For example, my political science professor has lots of knowledge on African politics while my philosophy professor has knowledge of epistemology.

  1. Different types of classes

So this refers to two big things, the first is how the professor teaches. My philosophy professor tends to have more of a discussion-type of class where everyone talks while the political science classes tend to be more lecture-type where only the professor is talking and they will sometimes interact with students. The second thing is the size of the classes. My philosophy classes tend to be smaller sizes ranging from 25-40 students while my political science classes range from anywhere between 50 to 300 students.

  1. More job opportunities

By having two majors, I am able to apply myself to different ways of thinking such as with philosophy it’s more asking questions about everything and trying out to figure out the key answer while with political science there are a variety of answers depending on the type of result one wants/prefers. Furthermore, one key thing that I love about my majors is that I can apply both when I study the LSAT. The LSAT has both critical thinking areas as well as a section that includes logic which is a critical part of philosophy. Then by having different opportunities, I mean I can choose a career in different fields such as government agencies, professors, or even as a lawyer.

There are various different benefits to being a double major in college and some of the ones listed above have been my perks of being in college and picking a double major in political science and philosophy. I know it has offered me various opportunities with the types of programs that I’ve participated in such as UCDC. I also have loved how I can be able to apply it to my studies in Law School. Within the next year, I hope to take a variety of classes in both my majors especially in international affairs regarding Latin American countries and political philosophy.

Ashleen Herrarte

UC Riverside '23

Ashleen is a third-year Political Science and Philosophy major. When she is not writing articles for HCUCR, she is usually spending time with friends by going out to eat yummy foods or watching shows at home. She hopes you enjoy reading her articles!
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