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Double major in Political Science and Engineering?

barthkbarthk Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
Congrats to everyone accepted to the class of 2016!

I've been accepted to Cal for Spring 2013, and I'm thinking of doing the FPF this fall.
My major on my UC application was Political Science, but I'd also like to double major into civil engineering or materials science.

Is this possible at Cal? How hard would it be? Should I just try to switch into the engineering school altogether?

Thanks in advance!
Post edited by barthk on

Replies to: Double major in Political Science and Engineering?

  • ElorielEloriel Registered User Posts: 345 Member
    I'm not too sure, but in any case what you're looking at is a simultaneous degree and not a double major (since Poli Sci and Engineering are majors in two different colleges). The application process is more complicated and you have to go for advising in both colleges, etc.

    From what I know, switching into CoE is difficult (since they are more selective from the outset after all) and it would be much easier for you if you don't want to switch colleges entirely if your home college now is CoE, and you're applying for a simult degree in L&S - instead of the other way round, which if your situation now. In any case, I think you should come on campus and consult an advisor who will be able to give you more answers! Or visit Cal Day, check out the engineering courses/major you want to pursue and then make a decision (:

    Also even though you put down poli sci on your application, you are admitted as an undeclared student, so you're not held to a poli sci major. In either case for you, you require some sort of admission into CoE so you should really go talk to a CoE advisor. Good luck (and congratulations again!)
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,162 Senior Member
    It would be a pretty tight schedule to fit all of the CE or MSE and political science required courses, and the breadth requirements for both Letters and Science and Engineering, into 8 semesters, unless you took overload schedules or come in with a lot of advanced credit.

    In 8 semester, you will likely take about 32 courses or 120 to 128 units.

    Political science requires 12 courses of about 48 units.

    Materials science and engineering requires about 104 units.

    Civil engineering requires about 95 units.

    L&S breadth not fulfilled by the majors requires about 5 courses or 20 units. Engineering breadth, normally about 6 courses or 24 units, will be covered by overlap with L&S breadth and the political science major.

    So political science and civil engineering would be about 153 units. It is fairly common to bypass a semester of English, one or two semesters of math, and a semester of chemistry with AP, IB, or A-level credit (or 3 or 4 courses or 12 to 16 units). But even that would mean needing about 137 units if you want to do it in 8 semesters, meaning a lot of 5 course semesters. L&S does let you have a ninth semester if you have two majors, but Engineering requires you to petition for a ninth semester in any case. If you do get a ninth semester, then it may be doable with relatively normal course loads with very careful schedule planning.

    Since you are a spring admit, you do want to ask L&S and Engineering if a semester at Extension's Fall Program for Freshmen or community college counts as one of the semesters to the 8 or 9 semester limit. If it does not, then you can effectively almost gain a tenth semester if you choose your Fall Program for Freshmen or community college courses carefully*, further easing your schedule.

    Of course, extra semesters will come at extra cost.

    *Suggested courses if you attend Fall Program for Freshmen:

    +English R1A, or R1B if you have credit for R1A (Engineering requires R1B regardless of AP/IB/A-level credit)
    +Math 1A or 1B if you have not already completed freshman calculus (e.g. 5 on AP calculus BC, 5/6/7 on IB Math HL, or 1/2/3 on A-level Math H2/H2/Pure/Further)
    +remaining courses in either political science, a history course usable for the political science major, or which fulfill L&S breadth in art and literature or biological science (which are not fulfilled by the majors)
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,162 Senior Member
    To get into the College of Engineering, the procedure is given here:
    Change of College — UC Berkeley College of Engineering

    Note: other majors in L&S, such as physics or math, are much more feasable to do a double major with political science with, and do not require applying to the College of Engineering.
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