Is Double-Majoring Worth it?

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What’s Covered:

 

For some students, a single major doesn’t allow them the room to fully explore their many interests. Double-majoring can be the answer. Rather than focusing on one concentration, it allows you to pursue two distinct areas of interest.

 

Is double-majoring really worth it though? Find out what it’s all about, as well as the pros and cons.

 

What is a Double Major?

 

Double majors and dual degrees are commonly confused. Double-majoring means you will receive one degree, although you’ll be required to fulfill requirements for two distinct majors while you’re completing your education.

 

A dual degree means you earn two separate degrees through one combined program, usually in a shorter amount of time than it would take to complete these degrees separately. In some cases, these degrees will both be undergraduate, such as a bachelor of arts and bachelor of music. In other cases, you may pursue a dual-degree program through which you’ll earn a bachelor’s and a graduate degree, such as a BS/MD.

 

Can You Double Major at Every School?

 

While the vast majority of schools allow you to double major, some don’t. For example, Princeton University doesn’t allow students to double major, although students may earn certificates alongside a degree. If you’re interested in double-majoring in college, be sure to research the options at the schools on your list.

 

Bear in mind, too, that some schools within larger universities, such as UCLA’s School of Theater, Film & Television, don’t allow students to double major, even if other schools within the university do.

 

Also, be aware that major and general education requirements often make it difficult for students to pursue this route. If you’d like more academic freedom to explore different interests and topics, consider open curriculum schools.

 

Pros of Double-Majoring

 

You’ll develop diverse skills.

 

When you declare multiple majors, particularly those in very different areas — such as a STEM area and a humanities one — you’ll build a diverse skill set that will serve you well throughout your life and work. Humanities majors will teach you how to write clearly and concisely while STEM majors will teach you to think critically and logically. 

 

You’ll get more value out of your education.

 

College is expensive. But when you double major, you’re getting much more from your experience than the average student without paying more, assuming you still graduate on time. If you are interested in multiple subjects and can make it work in your schedule, then go for it!

 

You’ll have more careers open to you.

 

You won’t be pigeonholed into one specific career when you double major. Of course, many majors aren’t associated with a single career path, but this will only expand your options further. For example, if you are considering medical school, the pre med requirements overlap heavily with a biology or chemistry major. But, if you are also interested in music or political science, you can double major to keep your future career options open. 

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Cons of Double-Majoring

 

You’ll have to fulfill more requirements.

 

Even if you attend a school without general education requirements, you’ll almost certainly still have requirements for your program. While you may be able to count some courses toward both majors, you’ll still be contending with far more requirements when you double major. This will most likely give you a busy schedule and you will likely have less space for other interesting courses.

 

You’ll be extremely busy.

 

And, of course, that means more work — work that will cut into time you may want to devote to extracurricular activities and your social life. If you chose to go this route, just be aware that you may need to sacrifice some of your free time. 

 

It may take you longer to graduate.

 

Some people who double major aren’t able to complete their requirements within four years, meaning they end up graduating late. That also means added costs, since they’ll also need to pay for the extra tuition. Be sure you plan out your four years to see if you can finish the requirements of your double major in time. If not, make sure you can cover the extra costs. 

 

Which College is Best for You?

 

The ability to double major is one consideration when it comes to finding the best college for you. But you should also think about other fit factors, such as the programs available, the activities offered, the location, and more. Check out CollegeVine’s school-search tool to find the best options for you based on your criteria.

 

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Short Bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.

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