3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Are double majors really worth it? If not, how about dual enrollment/degree?

I originally thought that you would get two degrees for double majors since each major is technically a degree by itself if they were to be taken separately. However, after some recent research, I found that that isn't the case and instead, you get a "specialized degree" that sort of combines the studies of both majors. As a result, it's possible that when employers see your resume, they might be less likely to hire you since you have a specialization that might not be what they want, which is what I'm kind of worried about. But I was really looking forward to a double major (I'm currently a sophomore in high school) because there were two fields that I was interested in studying but one is more for passion while the other is more for financial security, if you know what I mean. If there are any opinions on thoughts about this, they would be a great help. Thanks!

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4 answers

3 years ago

I don't think the other respondents accurately understood or knew how to respond to your question about dual degree programs.

Let's get the terminology correct for college programs.

Dual major - this is 1 degree conferred where you study 2 majors say like CS and Engineering.

Dual degree- this is a 2-degree program where you can a degree in something like Architecture and another separate degree in Business for instance.

The plusses.

1.) 2 degrees are better than one because they show you have intellectual vitality can show either future employers or graduate schools that you can have expertise in multiple areas or think in an interdisciplinary way.

2.) 2 degrees give you a fallback on the one you don't immediately leverage. So if you study say Flim and Business but really love Film but either can't find a job that pays well or learn you don't like working in film, you can always switch to Business.

3.) If the 2 degrees are complimentary like the UPENN degree in Nursing/Healthcare Mgmt or the Huntsman International Studies/Business, you might find yourself in demand and making more money right out of undergraduate school.

The negatives

1.) Getting two degrees is more expensive since you need more classes. So that potentially can add 25% to your final college bill.

2.) Getting two degrees takes more time and effort because you are taking on a more focused curriculum versus "filler" elective courses. So you might be taking hard business classes while taking equally hard design classes at the same time. You will find yourself studying for potentially twice as many exams at certain times. With some programs, you need to spend an extra year getting the 2nd degree or more.

3.) Getting two degrees impacts your social life and ability to have extra time to join clubs and intermural activities like recreational sports. It would seriously affect your ability to participate say in Greek life if that were of interest to you.

4.) Getting two degrees required twice as much commitment. Unlike getting one degree, once you start, you can't very well back out of it that easily. My dad got a dual degree in both Architecture and Finance. Therefore all the things I'm writing were based on me interviewing him about this topic. He said it's a hell of a lot of work. For him to graduate, he needed 190 credit hours versus the standard 120 credits so it was more than 50% more work and cost. He felt at times depressed because there was so much pressure to continue. But he felt that failure was not an option. After the 3rd year, he just gutted it out and decided that no matter what he had to finish what he had started.

I'm providing some links to some dual degree programs from UPenn and Cornell. And the 3rd link is the top schools that offer dual degree programs.




Your point of having options is a good reason to consider doing this but keep in mind that sometimes it's just easier to switch majors after trying it for a year or so. Once you are locked and loaded into a dual degree program, you can't start trading horses, you are committed. What I mean by that comment is that if you choose say Art for 1 degree and Business for the other, you can't just switch after 2 years and pick Poly Sci and Engineering without losing a lot of credits and having to reapply to both new schools. Therefore I recommend you do some soul searching and be careful what you ask for because you might find yourself in the middle of a difficult journey.

Good luck with your college selection and admissions process.

3 years ago

First, the good news is that you do not have decided for sure right now. Once you are in college, you can talk to your academic advisor and get a better feeling for what the specific programs you are looking at are like.

My understanding is that with a double major you complete the requirements of two majors but you get one degree because you are still only completing the number of credits required for one degree. This works because college degrees generally have a lot of electives and distribution requirements/gen eds. You will still be taking the same courses for the financial security degree as you would be if you did not get the passion degree. I do not see how a second major could be considered a downside for getting a job. Let's say you were considering getting a double major in computer science and German (just as an example since I don't know what majors you are considering). I do not see why an employer would not hire you for a software development job just because you had also majored in german.

Now, it is worth considering that there might be a more useful double major you could get. For example, If you wanted to get a computer science job that was also connected to finance, then a double major in economics might be helpful. Additionally, if you needed to study abroad one summer for your german major it might prevent you from being able to complete an internship that would be helpful on your resume. All of that being said, if you ended up getting a job with a company that was based in Germany (or did a lot of business with people who speak German) then a double major in German could be helpful.

Ultimately, it depends on what programs you are considering and what your goals are. As I said in the begging you probably don't have to decide for another couple of years. You could also consider getting a minor or, if you do not care about the certified aspect of it, just taking elective classes in the secondary major you are considering.

I hope this helps at least a little bit!

3 years ago

Daul Enrollment only applies to high school students and it is where they attend high school and college but are not taking Daul Credit. So when you enter college, this isn't an option for you.

A Daul Major is where you take classes that would lead to you having two degrees, such as a Bachelor's in Sociology and Journalism. It does take extra work and maybe some extra time, but it can be worth it to some people. Specialization isn't a bad thing for any employer, but you do need the relevant skills to get that job. If you are applying as a Journalist and you have a dual degree in Sociology, it's just a perk. It does help if your two majors are interconnected in some way, but that isn't a requirement.

Individualized majors may also be something to look into. From my knowledge, it is where you work with an academic advisor and take classes to work towards a major you designed.

3 years ago

If you can handle the stress of a double major or dual enrollment program, go for it. It provides a greater versatility for you in the future to get a job. It is mostly up to you to decide whether or not the dual enrollment is better than the double major though. Double majoring is more flexible usually since you get to choose what other major you want but for dual enrollment, the college usually offers specific combinations. What is special about dual enrollment is that sometimes you can get a bachelors and a masters rather than just two bachelors from a double major. I hope that someone else more knowledgeable will respond because I don't want to be giving false information.

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