Double majors trending at college campuses


Matthew Koon

Volunteer Writer 

The number of students with double majors is on the rise according to an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education. This is especially true in “elite schools where supercharged students want to do it all and where the ranks of double majors have swelled to more than 30 to 40 percent of all graduates.”

However, there appears to be little encouragement from higher education administrations to pursue two degrees simultaneously. Richard Pitt, a sociologist at Vanderbilt, told the Chronicle, “Demand is not up because schools are encouraging it, but because students are demanding it.”

Very few students are attempting two majors at RSC, but “dual majors are wonderful if you can get them to work,” Adviser Sherrill Pallotta said.

There is more than one way to pursue a double major. About a quarter of students pick majors that complement each other and have overlapping requirements. Other students choose one major that they see as fun, while the other is practical.

Double major graduate

Shelbi Noakes knows the rewards and challenges of double majoring. Noakes works in the Academic Advisement office. Photo by Marisa Caban

 

Double Major Benefits

Pitt said obtaining a double major “increases your breadth of knowledge,” giving students more job opportunities and skills. Also, students who pair a fun major with a scientific one are more likely to enjoy the practical major over students who only have a single major. This helps students who are not sure what field they want to get in to, or to get them into a highly competitive field, by taking classes that others had not, such as foreign languages.

The pursuit of a double major may come with drawbacks. One downside is taking more classes, which means extra semesters. According to Pallotta, students who pair two similar majors may find themselves lacking a single semester more of classes in order to graduate with two degrees. However, combining two majors that are near opposites may require years of extra classes.

Pursuing a double major can be burdensome for students seeking to graduate early, but the job opportunities and skills acquired just might make all the difference once finished.

 

 

 

 

 

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