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Diploma without major leaves alumnus feeling unrecognized


My name is Freeland and I'm an alumnus of Miami University (2015). I am currently enrolled at the University of Cincinnati College of Law and I'm currently taking much needed study break, so I thought I'd write to you about something that has been bugging me since I graduated.

There were numerous aspects of my Miami University experience I look back on fondly - the lifetime friends I made in my fraternity, the beautiful campus, Uptown (obviously) and my time as a writer for the Miami Student newspaper.

However, there was one other thing that really made my college experience complete - my major. Knowing I was going to enter law school following undergrad, I chose to major in something I was passionate about, something unique and at which I felt I would excel. So, I decided to major in English Literature.

Choosing to major in Literature ended up being the perfect decision for me - I got to read the works of some of the most important and influential writers while honing my writing and critical thinking skills. It was an education that not only prepared me for law school, but also helped me grow and learn about myself as a person. Overall, I consider my undergraduate education at Miami University a great success.

So, I was pretty proud when I graduated. Being an English major was part of who I was - I chose not to study the sciences like most members of my family, and I wasn't a business major like most of my friends. To me, my degree was something that spoke to who I was as a person.

So, at the end of last year, I finally received my diploma, and what did it say? It said that I, Freeland Dominic Oliverio, was granted a degree of . . . Bachelor of the Arts. That was it. No mention of my major.


Seriously, Miami. Just . . . what the hell? I mean, I go thousands upon thousands of dollars into debt after choosing a major I feel fits me, work tireless hours writing paper after paper analyzing the dozens of novels and short stories I had to read, and you couldn't even do me the small favor of recognizing that?

Don't get me wrong, I'm proud of my degree, and I understand that I am very fortunate to receive the education I did. But, when you visit friends from other schools, you learn something about them when you see a framed diploma saying that they majored in Political Science, or Finance, or Neoclassical Lesbian Folk Music or whatever it was that they majored in. But for me? I am a Bachelor of the Arts. What does that even mean? I sound like a weird, bespeckled hipster who wears scarves in the summertime and twirls brandy around a snifter at art galleries. "Hmm, yes, I am a Bachelor of the Arts, you see. Hmm, yes, quite."

Maybe it isn't a big deal, maybe I should ignore the fact that I worked for an innumerable amount of hours and spent thousands of dollars for a piece of paper that didn't even have the common courtesy to recognize my field of study. I don't know.

Regardless, I can't help but feel a little bit cheated, and I know that I'm not the only Miami graduate who feels this way.