American University of Central Asia - AUCA - LAS Double Majoring Experience

LAS Double Majoring Experience




Mira Zhakshylykova

In 2020-2021 3 LAS students graduated with double majors. One of them, Mira Zhakshylykova, an Environmental Management and Sustainable Development concentration alumni, shares her experience.

Mira Zhakshylykova is one of the three graduates of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department at AUCA. Her first major is Environmental Management and Sustainable Development and the second major is International and Comparative Politics. The main reason for double majoring was her interest in both fields and future career perspectives.

“The good time management and planning of all required courses plays an important role”, says Mira. Mira started planning all her courses since freshman year, after consulting with the heads of both departments. But, some parts were challenging when she had two required courses at the same time or lack of few credits, so good planning and support from both departments played a key role for double majoring in 4 academic years.

Both majors were from totally different perspectives, and it helped me to broaden my worldview and critical thinking, as well as the practical application of different approaches in both spheres. The double majoring also helped to shape me into a more organized and planning person with the ability to analyze several outcomes of any situation.

Message from Mira to students:

“I would like to advise all students to believe in themselves, never give up and follow their dreams. Everything is possible, just little hard work is needed, which will be rewarded. Also, use all opportunities; you are not losing anything.”






Aidana Ermatova

Since childhood I have loved nature and the environment around me and the climate is becoming worse and worse every year. I wanted to study Ecology to combat environmental problems but from another perspective, I knew that knowledge in one area is not enough, especially in our world, where everything is interdependent. Many people always ask me why I chose economics and ecology because they are two completely different areas. However, their relationship is so tight. Solution of one’s problems involves another one and it can be an effective tool. AUCA provides an opportunity to study two majors; therefore, the choice was obvious - Economics/ Environmental Management and Sustainable Development. 

From the first days of studying, I knew that I wanted to double major and finish it in four years; therefore, I started to integrate courses from both departments in the first semester. Every online registration was starting with calculations for the rest of the studies, not only for one semester, to know when and which course is better to take. First two semesters I covered 30 credits and in further semesters I used to cover more than 30. And here I am.

The hardest was – planning, when and which course to take because both departments had required courses and you never know if they will have time conflict or not and you cannot skip the course because it is a prerequisite for next classes. Additionally, I needed to study more, because sometimes I had 45 credits per semester instead of 33. 

Third year was for me the most difficult one because a few semesters left for graduation and the program was facing small changes followed by many misunderstandings. One of the departments had the biggest amount of required courses, so schedules were tight without any flexibility and new changes destroyed my plans. However, that time passed, all problems were solved with help of heads, advisors, and the Advising Office. 


Message from Aidana to students:

"It is possible to do a double major. Just plan, start as soon as possible, and never give up!"

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