How I Chose My Major: Peer Advising Intern Kaego NDIweka

As I am about a month into my senior year and finishing all my Political Science requirements this semester, I think back to how much I changed from my freshman year to now. It has been a long and interesting process, and it took me a while to accept it.

I entered UMass Amherst as a Political Science major because of my interests in politics and law. From a very young age, I also knew that I wanted to be a lawyer. During the first semester of my first year, I took a World Politics course and enjoyed it. From then on, I began taking all of the international relation course that I could. I was so fascinated by the topic that I decided to pursue a second major in Bachelor’s Degree with an Individual Concentration (BDIC). The Commonwealth Honors College (CHC) advisor I met with at the time and a few of my friends encouraged me to apply to the program.

While I was going through the BDIC class during the second semester of my sophomore year, I was also taking a health inequalities course and in the Sophomores Serve program in the CHC. I began to notice a shift in my academic interests towards health and public policy. Although, in the end, I chose to remain to be just a Political Science major, the BDIC proposal course made me sit down and think about what I want to do and how to choose a specific course that aligns with those interests. It also helped me finally accept that it is okay to change my mind. I do not have to leave UMass doing what I thought was the best fit for me during my freshman year.

The upper-level Political Science courses exposed me to different ways that, as a Political Science major, I can contribute to health policy and why I decided to focus on having only one major. It is also one of the factors that led to my applying to the Accelerated Masters 4+1 Program in Public Policy during my junior year. In this program, I am taking two Master of Public Policy classes also with my undergraduate courses. After I graduate in the spring, I will spend one more year at UMass and graduate in spring 2023.

If you have any questions about the 4+1 Master of Public Policy program, you can visit their website here. I am also available in the SBS Pathways Center Thomspon 128 on Tuesdays from 2-4 and Friday from 10-12 if you have any questions about the program, the application process, or my academic path. I would love to hear your stories as well!

By Kaego NDIweka
Kaego NDIweka SBS Peer Advising Intern