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Is a Double Major Right for You?

December 2019

The University offers so many majors, it can be hard to choose! That might explain why 20% of Arts & Sciences students are double majors. Check out some of their reasons for pursuing more than one major and their advice on making it work.

 

Racquel West
Racquel West, Senior
Majors: Geography, History, minor in American Indian Studies

My majors overlap but give slightly different skills that I wanted to acquire. If you want to double major, ask yourself if the second major will give you skills that you are hoping to use in your career.

Advice: A double major can be a lot of work and organizing, but finding places where those majors overlap is key to making the process easier. Advisers have been some of my biggest helpers in organizing my degrees. You can ask them if a certain class in another major could count towards credits in the major they represent.

 
Anna Sulc
Anna Sulc, Senior
Majors: French, Oceanography

Understanding different cultures and languages is essential to connecting people around the world on important issues like the state of our oceans. The benefits of my double major are perspectives I would never have had if I was not studying both fields. The challenges have been managing a very varied workload and finding a balanced way to be involved in both departments.

Advice: Students considering a double major should go for it even if the majors seem unrelated. If it is too much, you can minor and it can help you decide what your true passion is.

 

David Hales
David Hales, Senior
Majors: Chemistry, Physics

Physics is a great complement to chemistry and it has helped me keep my mathematical thinking sharp. 

Advice: Always keep a second major in the back of your mind as a possibility.  It might be easier than you think, especially if you want to double major in an "adjacent" major. Also, talking with advisers can be incredibly helpful. They are there to help you think about these kinds of decisions.

 

Sierra Red Bow
Sierra Red Bow (Lakota), Junior
Majors: American Indian Studies (AIS), Environmental Science and Resource Management (ESRM)

I chose to major in both ESRM and AIS because I believe these two studies go hand in hand. I find that I can’t discuss either without mentioning the other. The drawback to doing this is that I will be in college for an additional year.

Advice: Take into consideration the costs, but don’t let that stop you if you are passionate about your studies. If you believe two majors are connected, explore what connects them. Subjects should not be siloed. They should be in dialogue with one another.

 

Irika Sinha
Irika Sinha, Junior
Majors: Biochemistry, Biology (Molecular, Cellular, Developmental)

I decided to complete both majors to have a stronger knowledge base in biology. Biochemistry is heavily chemistry based and I thought it would be good to know both subjects well.

Advice: Make a four-year-plan early, check it with advisers, and make sure you know what quarters classes are offered.

 

Drew Callipare, junior
Majors: Dance, Psychology, minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

I am able to experience two very different departments simultaneously and I can compare what I learn in each. One challenge has been trying to take the required classes in a timely manner because many will overlap.

Advice: If you're considering double majoring, definitely talk to advisors from both departments, since the number of required classes and credits varies by major.