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BERKELEY'S NEWS • SEPTEMBER 30, 2023

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Campus College of Letters and Science plans to limit high-demand majors

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LISI LUDWIG | SENIOR STAFF

According to an articulation agreement, UC Berkeley’s College of Letters and Science will limit students to enrollment in only one high-demand major starting fall 2023.

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Lead city government reporter

AUGUST 24, 2022

UC Berkeley’s College of Letters and Science will institute a change in policy, limiting students to enrollment in only one “high-demand” major starting fall 2023.

The change will also mean freshman and transfer students admitted into high-demand majors will have a seat in the major held for them so long as they complete the necessary prerequisite courses.

The change is noted in the articulation agreement between UC Berkeley and various community colleges. The list of high-demand majors includes computer science, data science, economics, psychology and many others. 

Students interested in computer science, for example, may be unable to declare the major after they are admitted, according to the articulation agreement. Additionally, it is recommended that transfer students complete as many lower-division major requirements as possible before transferring to campus.

“If you are interested in this major, it is very important to select this major on your application,” the articulation agreement for the computer science degree reads. “If you do not select this major on your application, it may not be possible for you to declare this major at a later date.”

Khia Brunelle, the Coordinator of Educational Policy for the College of Letters & Science, declined to comment on the change, stating that she does not want to cause any “undue stress or confusion for current students, who will not be impacted by this decision.” and will comment further on the details of the policy after they are finalized in late September or early October.

Campus junior Nupur Agarwal is studying data science and economics, two of the majors that might be affected by the change based on the articulation agreement. 

Agarwal said she does not agree with the College of Letters and Science’s decision, stating that students will not be able to explore majors they are interested in if they are impacted. 

“It hampers their creative ability and their success in the careers they want to pursue,” Agarwal said. “They may not even know they want to pursue that field until they come to Berkeley.”

Though she disagreed with the decision, Agarwal said she understands campus’s perspective, noting that many students complain they do not get into the classes they need because of the amount of people enrolled and the enrollment cap for a particular course. 

Agarwal also acknowledged that the change might help to even out spaces for majors in the College of Letters and Science.

However, she proposed solutions such as expanding the number of classes available to students during the summer. 

The university could incentivize students to take summer courses, so capacity spreads out a little bit more,” Agarwal said. “Or maybe they can introduce a priority system, where students can prioritize which major they want more and have advising sessions for students based on their prioritized major.” 

Corrections: A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to Khia Brunelle as the coordinator of campus’s Educational Policy. In fact, she is the Coordinator of Educational Policy for the College of Letters & Science, not the campus. A previous version of this article incorrectly stated freshman and transfer students admitted into high-demand majors would be declared upon admittance and would not need to complete the prerequisites prior to declaring. In fact, students will need to complete the same prerequisites before declaring, but students admitted in high-demand majors will have a seat in the major held for them.
Contact Anna Armstrong at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter at @annavarmstrongg.
LAST UPDATED

AUGUST 30, 2022


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