Ten majors at UC Berkeley you probably haven’t heard of

Saya Coronado/Staff

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Among all the MCB, EECS and intended-pre-Haas-or-maybe-econ majors, it can be easy to forget that there are dozens of different majors available to choose from. Here are 10 that you may not have heard of.

  1. Marine science — An interdisciplinary major offered by the department of Earth and planetary science, marine science covers everything you could possibly want to know about the ocean. Interested in the relationship between climate change and the ocean? Interested in discovering the science behind SpongeBob? This is probably the major for you.
  2. Scandinavian — It’s no secret that Berkeley has a plethora of majors for just about every language and culture that you can think of. One that you may not have heard of, though, is Scandinavian. With five different concentrations under its umbrella and course topics ranging from vikings to the films of Ingmar Bergman, the Scandinavian major is sure to have something for everyone!
  3. Dutch studies — Another lesser-known language and cultural studies major, Dutch studies focuses on, you guessed it — the Netherlands. This major encourages a semester of study abroad in Belgium or the Netherlands, so if you’ve always dreamed of visiting Europe, this may be your chance.
  4. Certificate in new media — OK, it’s not technically a major, but this exciting certificate program offered by the Berkeley Center for New Media is perfect for anyone who’s ever wanted to work with the humanities and technology at the same time (because everyone knows there’s nothing like flexing on STEM majors and humanities majors simultaneously). Plus, as an undergrad in the program, you’ll have the opportunity to help organize and manage major events with the center, from hackathons to lectures.
  5. Sustainable environmental design — Sustainable environmental design focuses on building sustainable cities in the environmentally conscious sense but also in the socially conscious sense. There’s really no more woke major out there. You’ll get to study urban design in conjunction with policy implications to figure out how to make better, more sustainable cities.
  6. Environmental economics and policy — Another interdisciplinary major offered by both the College of Natural Resources and the College of Letters and Science, environmental economics and policy is, well, exactly what it sounds like. This major investigates the relationship between the economy, the natural environment and the policy decisions that frame this relationship. If you’re into a less science-oriented way of working with environmental issues or a less interacting-with-wannabe-Goldman-Sachs-interns way of working with econ, this may be the major for you.
  7. Geography — The geography major is so much more than maps and globes. In this major, you’ll get to study the patterns in which human beings have populated and transformed the globe. From the environmental impact of civilization to political structures throughout history, there’ll always be something completely new to study as a geography major. If you are more interested in the maps and globes, though, you can always visit the map library on the ground floor of McCone Hall, where the department is housed. Alternatively, just walk by the building and pet the saber-toothed cat statue — it doesn’t bite!
  8. Nuclear engineering — One of the lesser-known majors offered by the College of Engineering, nuclear engineering focuses on the application of nuclear processes to emerging technologies across a variety of fields. The major also offers joint programs with a number of other majors in the College of Engineering and the College of Chemistry, so if you’re looking for an opportunity to have the most intimidating possible major, this could be for you.
  9. Society and environment — Offered by the department of environmental science, policy and management, the society and environment major focuses on the applications of social science tools and theories to environmental tools and problems. One of the coolest things about this major is that it offers the opportunity to choose a focus between U.S. environmental policy, global environmental politics and justice and sustainability, so you’ll always have total control of the scope of your studies.
  10. Comparative literature — Studying comparative literature is like studying English with a bit more pizzazz. In this major, you pick literature from any two different national traditions and study it through different time periods in the original language. If you’re looking to pick up a new language in college, a comparative literature degree is a great place to practice using it! Plus, you get to read anything and everything from Foucault to Little House on the Prairie.

Contact Sannidhi Shukla at [email protected].