2 years ago
Admissions Advice

Double Major Humanities and STEM

I've wanted to be an English major for most of my life but it's not lost on me that there's not a lot of job prospects for it following college. I enjoy STEM classes and I was wondering whether it was feasible to double major with an English major and any of the STEM majors - for context I was looking at Applied Mathematics but seeing as there is basically no relation between English and Applied Mathematics it would make the work load nearly double.

Several questions:

Is this double major possible (feasible)?

What other major would you recommend to pair English with instead (STEM or otherwise - preferably in demand on the job market...)?

Are there any schools that are known for this kind of double majoring?

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1 answer

Accepted Answer
2 years ago

Hi @beetlejuice!

Feasibility here depends on where you go to college. Each college will only expect you to take a certain number of overall courses to graduate (e.g. 30), but the degree you end up with depends on which courses you took. Different degrees have different prerequisites, and some require more than others.

So for example the English department at Ivy University may only require 8 English-related courses for you to get an English degree, while the Applied Math department may require, say, 14 (STEM departments usually have more requirements). You'd still need that 30 overall total to get your bachelors, but the remaining 8 would be up to you. These are your electives — and they can be anything you want, from Russian literature to modern dance. In this scenario Applied Math would take away a lot of your electives, but you would not necessarily have "double the workload."

However, there's a catch. The scenario above assumes your college operates with what's called an "Open Curriculum." Most colleges have a Core Curriculum, or a set of courses that every student is required to take (usually basic stuff like intro math, literature, etc.). Depending on how extensive the Core Curriculum is and how much overlap there is with your intended majors, you might be left with no electives or even require extra classes to fulfill all your degree requirements. In that case you'd have to either take extra classes each semester (which would feel like double the workload) or try to get some in during the summers and winters.

The answer to your question, then, depends on where you go to college. Each department will have different requirements, and each Core Curriculum will vary in length. I'd recommend starting with Open Curriculum colleges, which will probably be easiest for you to get all your preferences in. You can find a list of those here: https://blog.collegevine.com/open-curriculum-schools-11-colleges-that-allow-students-to-direct-their-own-learning/

Lastly, as to potential second majors, I'd recommend checking out Computer Science which is always well in demand. The important thing is you choose something that genuinely interests you — otherwise it'll be especially taxing when that subject is taking up most of your schoolwork.

Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any questions.

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Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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