Double-degree in two years. Is it possible?

March 12, 2024

An undergraduate student illustrates their determination in academics, achieving two degrees meanwhile participating in several research labs and student organizations.


For many students, moving to a new city or state, taking on advanced coursework, and completely immersing yourself in a new environment is no easy feat. Students often wonder whether accomplishing a double major or double degree is even possible with all of the additional stressors of college life. To answer your question, yes, it is possible and Lev Brikmanis is here to prove it. 

Lev is currently a senior, completing both AREC’s Environmental & Water Resource Economics (EWRE) major and the College of Humanities’ Religious Studies major. Completing a double major in just two years takes a steadfast mindset and enthusiasm for a choice of study. 

When asked what drove Lev to want to complete both EWRE and Religious Studies, he explained, “I grew up with family living in the Middle East who did not have good access to water because of the government. My family in Palestine does not have proper control of their water for use; the settlers take and tamper with the water a lot, so many people go without water for days.” This personal experience with resource insecurity drove Lev to pursue a career that would positively impact the lives of his family and others. 

While tackling the individual major pathways, Lev was able to make connections with the two degrees to reach his career goals. They said, “I want to be able to work with communities internationally to be able to allocate water and use my religious studies degree to connect with people. My family practices different religions and it is important for me to be able to connect with people and understand how religion and communities are intertwined.”  

Endless opportunities 

In just two years, Lev has been able to complete all required units for each major plan along with experiencing both departments’ student engagement opportunities. He mentioned, “I looked at schools in Illinois to see if I could be closer to home but there weren't many good undergraduate research offers that stuck out to me.” That is when Lev discovered the plentiful research opportunities and majors that fit their passions here at UArizona. 

Moreover, with the multitude of research opportunities at UArizona, Lev has not held back in exploring the opportunities that are offered in his interest. Lev completed research with the VIP Desert Laboratory, Water Whys Lab, and the Ramirez-Andreotta Lab. They explained, “These are varying research labs that deal with desert plants, water communication with communities, and water contamination in communities.” 

Alongside research experience, Lev has been continuously involved in clubs and organizations across campus such as the Middle East & North Africa Student Association (MENASA), Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Trans Wildcat Alliance, and Environmental Science Club

With credit-packed semesters, research work, and involvement in clubs and organizations, Lev has realized his self-determination, resilience, and independency. They said, “A proud moment I have had here is realizing that I can finish university in two years, and my determination for it. I have worked really hard to be where I am today and am now on my final stretch.” 

Advice on how to tackle a double-major 

When advising on completing a double major, Lev suggested that the most important thing is to find a study that reflects your utmost passion and interest. He explained, “Find something that you are interested in because, more likely than not, there is a major for it.” Lev found courses throughout his Religious Studies major to be intriguing, which in turn, made the courses simple. The courses for his EWRE major gave an insight into what Lev could be utilizing in his master’s program and future career: data analysis for water economics. 

Lev has already begun the journey of his next steps after graduation. He has applied to graduate school in Illinois and is currently waiting for admission. Beyond that, Lev sees themselves, “working closely with communities to address water contamination issues,” and “using analytical skills to provide solutions for communities being impacted.”