While considering your major is a hard enough decision, many students also feel the impulse to tack on another whole major during their time in college before they’ve even fully declared their first one.
Double majors can be great – one of the most important things to consider when choosing a major is your level of interest in the field, and oftentimes you can cater your educational experience to a wide breadth of interests with a double major. However, it’s important to remember that double majors are not necessarily for everyone.
You might not be ready to consider a double major if…
You feel like it’s something that you have to do.
It isn’t uncommon for students to feel the need to get the most out of their college experience – and believe that the best way to do that is by studying two separate disciplines. But the truth is, having a double major doesn’t make you that much more marketable than a single major does.
There are some cases in which that extra major could give you an edge, but it’s even edgier to love what you do all the time and be able to dedicate more energy to it. Plus all that extra stuff you enjoy, like clubs, volunteering, Greek life, and even on- and off- campus jobs, can give you that extra experience you might be looking for.
You think you need to study something practical.
Many students that come to college operate under the assumption that your major is the main determinate of your career path, and it’s not uncommon for students to choose a major based solely on what they want their career to be post-grad – even when they can’t stand the classes they’re in.
If you’re finding yourself majoring in something you hate, and want to balance it with something you love through a double major, you might want to reconsider. It’s perfectly okay to have a single major, even if it’s in something that others deem “impractical.” And in a case like this, it might even end up being the better choice. It’s always better to be fully engaged with something you love.
You might be ready to consider a double major if…
You just can’t decide between two disciplines.
Even after much thinking and trying to narrow down your interests, you can’t decide between two different majors. If you’re finding that you’re extremely excited about two different things, that’s usually a good sign that you should consider doubling up.
They complement each other well.
I don’t necessarily mean that if you’re majoring in sociology that you should immediately look to double major in anthropology just because there’s some overlap (unless, of course, you want to) – I mean if you’re really into a department that doesn’t have concentrations, you can utilize another major to help expand your interests.
So, for example, if you really loved the gender unit that you did in your intro to sociology class, you could consider looking into WGSS, while still keeping that broader sociological background.
As always, remember that we’re here to help! There are plenty of places to go on campus when deciding your major(s) to help you find the path that best suits you – from academic advisors to the department chairs. However, it’s also important to remember that these are all only road maps. You’re going to be the one taking the classes and fulfilling the requirements – so remember to own this decision!