One of the most interesting programs that the University offers is the double degree program. It’s a great way for students to expand their horizons as two courses are bridged together to make an invaluable combination, one program from the College of Liberal Arts and another one from the Ramon V. del Rosario – College of Business. Within the University, this special program is commonly referred to as LIA-COM.

LIA-COM students are just like your regular classmate; they are no strangers to the deadlines of requirements, stress of exams, and the sinking feeling of Monday approaching. What sets them apart is the two degrees they will hold after they graduate from their lengthy yet worthwhile stay of five years in the University.

It takes two

It definitely takes lots of courage to sign yourself up for a grueling 5-year stay in school, all while studying for two programs under two of the most diverse colleges in the University.

Ariana* (I, OCM-LGL) chose a double degree program because she loves studying. Like Ariana, it’s perfect if you’re averse towards having idle time on your hands. “My parents always tell me that I am a good conversationalist, and I am good in defending myself whenever [they scold me], so I chose Organizational Communication and Legal Management.” There is not much parental concern over choosing a LIA-COM program as it is a prestigious achievement when completed.

An impressive resume is one of the things that fueled the motivation of Sam* (III, PSM-MKT) to pursuing such a program, while the idea of being unique and having an edge against others is Cathleen’s (III, LIA-COM) reason behind choosing such a course.

Rheena Marquez (‘95, HUM-BMG), now a successful alumna, studied and graduated with degrees in both Humanities and Business Management. She chose this course to be well-rounded in both the liberal arts and business, maximizing her stay and investment in the University.

Presumptions on double majors

A surefire way to tell a LIA-COM student from a one-degree student is asking how many terms they have left. LIA-COM majors are patient, gambling their time in order to learn more than what is required of them.

Experience is something else that these students value. Cathleen thinks that LIA-COM majors approach their LIA (Liberal Arts) subjects with a business-oriented mind and their COM (Commerce) subjects with ingenuity and creativity, having spent time harnessing their prowess in both sides of the spectrum. Arianna, on the other hand, says LIA-COM students have more knowledge to impart, while Sam mentions that they have a greater tendency to remain patient and focused given their extensive stay in the University.

Nonetheless, the journey is rough for these students. Sometimes LIA thesis and practicum courses coincide with their majors for COM. Juggling responsibilities, especially with workload that requires not only written outputs but also videos, photos, and concept materials, as is often the case for LIA subjects.

In terms of workload, Cathleen says that COB subjects have various presentations while CLA subjects are heavy with readings. Rheena finds that her COB subjects were more challenging, sharing, “To be honest, all my COB floatings are really difficult compared to my CLA floatings.”

Sam sums up the workload of LIA-COM students, saying, “There are more quizzes, analysis, computations and the like when it comes to COB but in CLA, it requires imagination, patience, and dedication to see the world [and the] bigger picture through research papers and reflection papers.”

Jack of all trades

LIA-COM degrees, although challenging, surely have numerous advantages when put to the test. In the academe, students who study two degrees should be more flexible.

“There will be a lot of opportunities for double-degree students,” says Ariana, implying that double degree majors should have a wide range of knowledge of both art and business, which can be applied to many situations.

In the real world, alumna Rheena assures that “graduates of double degree courses have more opportunities [to apply for work].” Graduates also have honed skills that can help them excel in multiple careers. Having two degrees, Cathleen explains, assures the student of being the masters of both their chosen trades, despite the seeming contradiction.

Sam reiterates that having two degrees on a résumé is quite impressive, explaining that “[having graduated with two degrees] will create the thinking that we are very patient and hardworking people.”

And they are. Two degrees in five years is no joke in a university such as DLSU, where terms are quick and fast-paced, with seemingly endless requirements. Versatility in accomplishing tasks is one of the many values that LIA-COM students develop throughout their training process in school.

Bad side of the coin

As with all passions, sacrifices must be made. Sometimes, the bitter must be swallowed before tasting the sweet. It is both a blessing and a curse to balance and study for two degrees.

Time seems to be the main factor of setbacks when taking these programs. Some worry about the idea of not being able to graduate on time, scared to watch on the sidelines as they get delayed. Others find trouble in dividing their time and workload, simply hoping to take enough units without overexerting themselves.

Best of both worlds

LIA-COM students have the capacity to drop the other half of their double degree program, and it’s no secret that many are tempted to do so. Those who were quick to disengage from the program, however, may not have realized the opportunities lined up ahead.

However, at the end of a long day, a wise Page* shares that perseverance is the key to success. Not only does the phrase apply to double degree majors, but for the entirety of the student body.

Students struggle to balance their lives on a daily basis: Staying awake until dawn just to hit the books, budgeting their money and time, and somehow, in the midst of their hectic schedules, squeezing in the time to socialize. LIA-COM students experience twice the pressure and undertakings. Nevertheless, they construct their lives and futures with the best of both worlds.

*Names with asterisks (*) are pseudonyms.

Eternity Ines

By Eternity Ines

Alexis Sobremonte

By Alexis Sobremonte

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