Flickr user Hans Splinter

Flickr user Hans Splinter

If a student is a double major, they pursue two different fields of study and complete two sets of requirements before graduation. It can be a great way to bolster one field with another—say, Business with a double major in Marketing, for example—or earn a degree in two entirely different fields that the student is interested in—like Theatre and Psychology.

There are good things and bad things about being a double major, however, and so before you commit to the doubling-task, check out these pros and cons!

Pro: Diversified Education and Skill Set

Double the major, double the education. Since these student has two different majors to fulfill, they often get a broader learning experience as well as a broader set of skills. A general Business major might learn a lot about corporations and how they run, but a Business / Marketing major will understand businesses and have a more in-depth look at a particular element of that business—which can be enticing for employers down the road.

Con: More Studying, More Requirements

As the name would imply, now you’ve got double the studying. Some classes might overlap in your requirements, so you won’t necessarily have twice as much homework/tests. Double majors work hard to keep on top of all their classwork for two majors, and must pay attention to prerequisite and mandatory classes in order to graduate with both degrees.

Pro: Broader Range of Potential Careers

Not only might you be tailor-made for certain career paths (Communications + Marketing = Social Media Manager, for example), but you’ll also have a wealth of things to choose from. Double majoring can open up many opportunities depending on your two chosen majors. Employers like seeing double majors because the candidate will have two specific areas of budding expertise, and the dedication to work on two different degrees at once!

Con: Later Graduation Date

Since there are additional requirements when it comes to double majoring, most students won’t graduate in four years. Instead, double majors will likely need one or two additional semesters—if not years! A later grad date also comes with its own list of problems, namely: more tuition costs, potentially more student loan debt, and delaying employment.

All in All

Double majoring is not a thing to be taken lightly, and students should do thorough research and planning before undertaking it. Speak with your academic advisor if you’re interested and together the two of you can see what opportunities are available in the areas you’re interested in. There will always be upsides and downsides to every major decision, but at least you can say you are informed on them before you jump in headfirst.

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