Choosing a major probably stands out as the most important aspect of college, after, you know, getting into the school and keeping up good grades. The major you decide to aim for dictates the selection of classes you need to take, as well as the career you may have after, so it’s important to choose something that interests you. Sometimes, though, the choice isn’t crystal clear, and it can be tough to choose only one path. Enter: the minor and the double major. A double major essentially gives you two degrees, while a minor simply gives you the chance to explore another area of interest.
To help make your decision, let’s consider the following:
Even having just one major takes a few years to complete. Taking on a second major will definitely add to that, so you can forget about trying to graduate early unless you’ve already completed a boatload of credits.
One thing you can factor into the decision is if your second major will require credits that can overlap with your first. This way, you can knock out requirements without the time it takes to take two separate classes. Two birds, one stone!
If your second major’s requirements vary a lot from the first, a minor might be a better fit, since you’ll only have to take a few extra classes, not an entire degree’s worth.
Consider your personal situation. If you want to have two majors and took numerous college level classes in high school that apply to either ─ or both ─ of the majors, the second major probably won’t add too many requirements to your already lengthy list. If not, you’ll likely spend a lot of extra time and money completing a second degree. In this case, maybe pursuing a minor is more your speed.
Getting into graduate school and getting a job are both harder than they’ve ever been, with more and more people competing for a small number of open positions. If you want to increase your chances of getting into that graduate program, scoring an exciting internship, or landing your dream job, having a double major may look more impressive than a minor does on your resume. While both show that you’re a hard worker and can make serious commitments, graduating with a double major shows a bit more dedication to your passions than having a minor.
If you have high aspirations for your career or graduate school, a double major might give you a leg up.
Learning About What You Love
Taking on a second major or minor can help you explore a new field of knowledge in a classroom setting with experienced teachers. If you’re head over heels in love with two different majors at your school, then I highly recommend you go ahead and double major. It would be awful to have the opportunity to learn about something you enjoy only for you to decide against studying it and regret it. Plus, you never know what doors might open up for you in the future with an extra major!
On the other hand, if a second major is a topic you don’t know a lot about and just want to get a taste for, or it’s a topic you enjoy but don’t want to put a lot of extra commitment into, then minoring in that subject would be the ideal choice.
If you’re truly interested in another area of study, and want to immerse yourself completely in it, double majoring might be the right path. If you’re just curious about it or want to try something new, minoring is probably best.
Where Do You See Yourself 10 Years from Now? 20 Years?
Think about it. What do you want to be doing? Saving lives? Writing books? Designing the latest technology?
Say you’re aiming to work in the police force, but you also love art. You could work as a sketch artist and help catch criminals that way. But maybe you’d rather be out in the field protecting citizens in a more active way. If that’s the case, it would probably be in your best interest to minor in art rather than double majoring. You can always practice art in your free time or mold it into a side hustle. But if being a sketch artist sounds like a perfect fit, then go ahead and aim for the second major!
Double majoring or minoring is an option for you to change the world in the best way you can. If the second major or minor doesn’t help you accomplish that goal, then there really isn’t much of point to getting it. Will it be worth the added cost?
Double majoring or minoring is a huge responsibility, so select wisely. You’re not alone if you can’t decide; ask your friends and the staff at your school for advice if you’re having trouble picking which option is best. That’s what they’re there for! It isn’t a decision that you should regret by the time you’ve graduated, or even years later. When you’re older and thinking back on the time you spent in college, you should have only happy memories, not bad ones. It’s a choice that should help you become the amazing person you envision when you think about who you want to be, so have fun, and study hard!