Multiple majors and minors harmonize with student interests, curiosity
Many students at Saint Michael’s College choose to explore multiple subjects of interest by having more than one major or minor.
Engaging in multiple academic departments at Saint Michael’s is made easy since students are able to “double dip” courses, meaning that one course can count for two different minors or majors, said Lauren Best ‘24, an English and secondary education double major with minors in philosophy and creative writing.
“The great thing about being a St. Mike’s student is that you’re getting an education in various areas,” she said. “St. Mike’s students are really well-rounded students. Allowing them the ability to double dip ensures that they’re not restricted to just one major or one minor.”
Best said that before coming to college, she knew she wanted to study education. When looking at colleges, Best realized that education degrees looked different at each school. “I appreciated the licensing deal at St. Mike’s — when I graduate, I’ll have my license to teach seventh through twelfth grade. If I take an additional class, I’ll have my license in teaching fifth through twelfth grade,” she said. “Then I’ll get my master’s in teaching in only one year here.” Best said that the master’s program at Saint Michael’s would save her a lot of time and money in her process of becoming an educator.
There is a lot of overlap between the English major classes she is taking and the creative writing minor classes that are being offered, said Best. “It felt like I was doing the work to get the minor already, so I added it on,” she said. As a member of the Honors Program, Best is also eligible to take a fifth course each semester at no extra cost. “By taking an additional class each semester, I was really just acquiring another minor,” she said.
After taking the required CORE curriculum Introduction to Philosophy class with Katie Kirby, associate professor of philosophy and director of global studies, during her first year at Saint Michael’s, Best found herself interested in the subject. Now having added a philosophy minor, Best is taking classes such as Power, Resistance, and Race.
“That course is especially thought-provoking for me as a white person and as a future educator,” Best said. “It’s helped me to think about ways that I can be anti-racist, inclusive, and equitable in the classroom. In the philosophy classes, I also just really enjoy reading the texts and thinking about thinking.”
Andrew Dezjot ‘23, a political science, gender studies, and philosophy triple major with a minor in public health, had a similar path as the one that Best described. Dezjot came into Saint Michael’s with the desire to study political science and ended up acquiring more subjects of interest along the way.
“I came into college as a political science major. I ended up taking a few philosophy courses and liking them a lot, so by my sophomore year, I was pretty set on being a double major,” he said. “I took a few courses relating to gender studies for my majors, such as ‘Feminist Political Thought.’ During my junior year, I looked at the feasibility of doing a triple major and I found that it’d work,” said Dezjot.
Dezjot said that in all of his majors and his minor, there is a lot of discussion and thought about the world. In political science, Dezjot looks at systems that have huge effects on peoples’ everyday lives, while gender studies looks at the dichotomy between a societal conception of gender and the conception that it could be, he said. “It’s been really eye-opening to realize how gendered our world is and how it affects our education systems, raising children, the jobs we have, and more,” said Dezjot.
In philosophy, Dezjot learns about the reasoning behind why human beings do what they do and how they find their motivations and sense of agency, and how they act upon it, he said. In public health, Dezjot said, he learns about systems of equity and how a multidisciplinary understanding of public health is crucial to determine what the best course of action is to make sure human beings are not left behind. One important theme of the Saint Michael’s mission is equity, and that’s something that’s a part of the discussion for all of Dezjot’s majors and his minor, he said.
Dezjot encourages any prospective or current students who are interested in multi-majoring or multi-minoring to use their advisors as a communicative resource. “My advisors were willing to work with me to ensure I took comparable courses that fulfill the requirements of each major,” he said. “My biggest advice is to just try for it. The worst case scenario is that you’re not able to finish a major or minor but you’ll still have the knowledge you’ve gained from those courses.”
Best encourages students to take one course in an area of interest that they have. “Buy into the process and explore that interest,” Best said. “If you like it, then you can add the minor and further the exploration of that subject. If you don’t like it, then you have another area of knowledge on your transcript and in your experience as a student.”