Major, Majors, or Minor? Why I chose just one degree

Michael Thorson Aerospace and Mechanical, Design Teams, Michael, Viterbi Plus 0 Comments

If you are anything like I was coming into college, it is hard enough deciding on just one degree of study. Meanwhile, your friends may already be deciding on two majors or some combination of minors. Don’t worry, double majors and minors can be declared all the way through sophomore year, but as I leave sophomore year, I want to share some advice on why I chose to only study aerospace engineering.

Which diploma do you want when you're here?

Which diploma do you want when you’re here?

As an eager freshman, I noticed that I had space in my four year plan to earn a math or physics minor in only four years! I created class plans and even met with my academic advisor to ensure I could fit all the classes I needed to graduate in four years. Before I added classes however, I asked an senior from the Rocket Propulsion Lab why they had chosen not to add a minor and they gave me some much needed perspective. They reminded me that Viterbi is only one of the 18 schools within USC and that there are so many incredible classes hidden among them. It is easy to dive deep into an engineering degree and a minor, but that dense of a course plan can sometimes prevent students from taking classes they may never get the chance to take later in life. I eventually decided that narrowly focussing my four years on aerospace and math was not right for me and instead I learned how to program with C++, a California Laureate taught me how to analyze poetry, and I will soon know how to manage my finances thanks to an elective accounting class. With my extra free time too I was able to found the Longboard USC club to spread my love of the sport and work more in the ACT research lab working with autonomous drones.

Microcontroller and housing for a drone I designed and created in my free time with the ACT lab

Microcontroller and housing for a drone I designed and created in my free time with the ACT lab

Wait! I am not trying to scare any of you readers away from a double major, a minor, or an expedited masters degree through the progressive degree program because those options may be right for you! Instead, I encourage every student to ask for advice from older students, experiment with different classes, and decide what program (if any) is right for them!

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Michael Thorson

Michael Thorson

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