How I found my path to LAS

I’m a senior studying geophysics and English, which are both in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (LAS). I came here after transferring as an incoming sophomore into UIUC’s Division of General Studies (DGS) and then eventually transfered into the College of LAS. Outside of academics, I have a research position at the university’s Prairie Research Institute and am a member of Illini 4000, an RSO that bikes across the country each year to fundraise for cancer research and support services.

Brian D'SouzaThe University of Illinois is an amazing institution that will offer you incredible opportunities toward your goals as an individual, both professionally and personally. When I was at my previous university before transferring to UIUC, I had expressed an interest in studying both a physical science and English double-major, but my advisors instead pushed me towards science and away from the humanities. However, I knew I wanted to pursue full degrees in either geology or physics as well as English, rather than just the English minor my prior advisors had suggested.

UIUC is a much bigger school when compared to my prior university, which means it has all kinds of helpful resources available, but when I transferred here it felt a bit intimidating. I felt nervous about explaining my desire to study both physical sciences and English to my new UIUC advisors after my previous experiences, but the College of LAS was extremely accommodating! First, the LAS advisors were able to direct me towards geophysics, a specialized curriculum within geology, after I mentioned needing to choose between geology and physics. I admittedly felt a bit silly that I didn’t make the connection myself, but I love my degree and the way it caters to my interests in both environmental and theoretical sciences.

After completing the transfer into geophysics, my advisors helped me form a double-major plan so I could also get a full degree in English. There is nothing wrong with a minor, but I have always had a personal affinity for English, and it was important to me that the field wasn’t placed on the back burner. The LAS advisors understood this and helped me navigate the complexities of pursuing two degrees as both an external and internal transfer student.

The staff in the College of LAS has understood my unique academic and professional goals as an individual and has catered to my somewhat weird combination of interests. I am certain that they will do the same for you, too!

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Brian D'Souza