Are you insane? Overly ambitious? One major not challenging enough for you? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then you might be a candidate for a double major! Double majoring is a feat of astounding proportion and only those that have truly examined double majoring should pursue it.
Reasons to double major
1. If the second major relates to your future goals as a professional then it might be beneficial to add a second major. For example, a student wishing to become a music therapist at a University that doesn’t offer that major might want to double major in music and psychology. In many cases, two separate majors can overlap in course requirements. This can also help the student more easily obtain both degrees.
2. Sometimes a student’s progress at the college has accelerated to the point where the amount of credits and classes towards the original major has exceeded the track planned for the student. Oftentimes freshmen can enter with many general education classes out of the way after taking AP or IB classes in high school, which apply for college credit. In this situation, it may be possible to begin major courses right away and by the time the freshmen is a junior, their program may almost be completed. In these cases it may be easier to double major.
3. You are ambitious. Academic drive and ambition can carry students through the college careers with flying colors. If you just feel one day like adding a second major with no real reason other than interest, go right ahead, but know that it may take you a little longer to graduate or you may be taking a completely full load each semester.
Things to consider
1. Fine arts programs are much harder to double major in than other letters and sciences programs. For example, obtaining a BFA in Theatre and a BFA in Music credit-wise puts you at about 4 and half years or more, rather than four. Know that a Bachelors of Fine Arts generally requires more credit hours than a Bachelors of Arts or a Bachelors of Science. When picking a second major, consider choosing a degree with less credit requirements that you can finish in four years.
2. It is possible to double major and graduate on time, but it must be well planned and organized. Start as early as possible, and although this can be difficult especially if you are a freshman and don’t really know what you would like to major in yet, but decide as soon as you can. Visit your campus’ registrar office to check the logistics of your plan. Also talk to faculty in both programs to see if it is at all possible to double major in the two programs and graduate on time. The faculty are the best people to ask as they are the most experienced with the two majors.
3. Why not add a minor? If you find that adding a double major would be too overwhelming, try minoring! It’s usually quite a few credits less than majoring and provides you with knowledge that a major would also come away with.
4. If you are a freshman and considering a double major, be wary. College students change their majors throughout their careers in school. If you know for sure without a doubt that you want to double major, go for it, otherwise keep in mind that your academic goals and future may change.
The decision to double major is a difficult one, but if you have the desire, go for it. You can change your major an unlimited amount of times as a college student, and most students do. Remember, the longer you indecision continues, the more semesters you will add onto your college career. College is exciting and the opportunities to major in different areas are attractive, but pick the areas that most interest you and benefit your academic goals.