What Is a Double Major?

Things to Consider Before Pursuing a Double Major

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A double major is exactly what it sounds like: two college majors completed in tandem. Typically, when a student pursues a double major they are responsible for completing more classes. If it requires more work, why would a student want to double major? Students may double major because they're very passionate about two fields of study, and since they want to do both they're willing to take on the extra workload. Some might have preferred not to double major, but the absence of a minor degree in the desired field forces the issue.

Considerations for Deciding to Pursue a Double Major

When making the decision to double major, there are three major points to consider. The first is that depending on the university and the department, each major requires a minimum number of credits to complete the degree. For example, if the university requires 120 credits to graduate with a specific college degree, you may need to discover if there is a credit cap for your double major program. Many universities can help with your core credit requirements so that you can successfully complete both majors.

A second consideration is the amount of time it might take to graduate. While it is possible to graduate with a double major in just four years, it takes considerable planning and a certain amount of good fortune to schedule the necessary classes. Parents and students should prepare themselves for the likelihood that completing a double major will require the common five-year plan.

Lastly, students who devote their credits toward two majors, while fulfilling general education requirements as well, may experience tighter schedules than most of their peers. Because students who double major are less likely to spend as much time exploring extra-curricular campus activities, there is less opportunity for exploring other fields or dabbling in hobbies and interests. For many students, the passion of their double major outweighs the loss of free time. Some students might be disappointed in the lack of free time for extracurriculars, making it a factor worth consideration.