Thinking about declaring a second major? That’s great! Having two degrees can open doors for some pretty sweet opportunities when you start your career—but before rushing to your decision, take a look at these six factors you should consider.
1. Why do I want to declare a second major?
Taking on a double major is a big step that requires some thought. Many students who double major have a specific career goal in mind, and they’re able to see how the skills taught within both degrees can help them get there. If you don’t yet have a career goal and you’re simply taking on another major because you think it’ll impress employers, you may want to reconsider.
2. Does the additional major complement my current major?
A double major can give you a wider range of knowledge for your future career, but you’ll want to make sure the two majors are complementary. For example: a criminal justice student may benefit from learning about human behavior with a psychology major, but a student pursuing an early education degree probably wouldn’t benefit from tacking on something like astrophysics.
3. Do any of the required courses overlap with my current major?
If you’re looking into a second degree that requires some of the same courses as your current major—that’s great! This overlap means you won’t have to take on as many extra classes and schoolwork. It’s also a good indicator that the two majors go hand-in-hand, which will benefit you in the workplace.
4. Do I have the time to commit to extra work?
When you accept a double major, you’re also accepting a heavier workload. It’s totally manageable if you’ve got the time—but if your days are filled to the brim with other commitments, you may need to rework your schedule a bit before declaring the second major.
5. Am I willing to stay longer than four years?
Working on two degrees can take a bit of time—especially if none of the courses in each major overlap. This may mean staying longer than four years. While this is completely normal and can be so worth it, you’ll still need to weigh factors like how much more money and time will be involved.
6. Have I spoken to my adviser?
It’s always a good idea to get a second opinion, and who better to scope out some insights from than your academic adviser? They’re pros at helping you see the bigger picture, and they can even help you start mapping out a plan of action if you decide to move forward with your decision.