Ask a College Advisor: Can I Pursue a Double Major and a Double Minor?

Hear from one of our education professionals about whether you should choose multiple subjects of study in college.

portrait of Lauren Albano, M.Ed.
by Lauren Albano, M.Ed.

Published on June 3, 2022

Edited by Amelia Buckley
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Ask a College Advisor: Can I Pursue a Double Major and a Double Minor?

Question: Can I pursue a double major and a double minor in college?

Answer: There are many ways that students can customize their college experience to maximize their investment and set themselves up for success. One strategy might be to pursue a double major or a double minor, or even do both. At most schools, this is definitely possible!

But what does it mean to double major and double minor? And how do you decide if this is the best decision for you?

Let's walk through the benefits and drawbacks of pursuing both a double major and double minor and how you can evaluate this decision to make the most of your college education.

What Is a Double Major?

When a student pursues a double major, they focus on two different disciplines but usually receive a single degree such as a bachelor of arts (BA) or a bachelor of science (BS). This is different from adual degree, which provides two separate diplomas and usually requires a higher number of credit hours.

With a double major (or eventriple major), you need the same number of credit hours to graduate as you would with a single major, but you will need to complete all of the course requirements for both majors. Though students can pursue a double major within two different schools or departments, this usually requires more course requirements than pursuing a double major within the same academic department.

What Is a Double Minor?

Aminor is like a mini-major. Students can complete a smaller number of courses to add a specialty to their degree or gain introductory knowledge in a separate area of study.

Some students might choose to add a minor (or two) in a complementary subject related to their major, or they might add a minor in a completely different field to expand their potential career paths.

While minors do not show up on a student's diploma, they do appear on their college transcript and can always be added to a resume to showcase additional skills.

Pros of a Double Major and Double Minor

If done correctly, adding a double major and double minor can provide many benefits for students. By expanding your area of study, you are also expanding your expertise and improving opportunities for future job prospects. Some key benefits include:

Multiple majors and minors shows potential employers that you have balanced a greater workload and can prioritize and manage your time well. This is especially true if you can also show other involvements such as student leadership roles, volunteering or internships, or a part-time job.

Receiving a degree with multiple specialties may save you money on additional education down the road.

Multiple majors and/or minors expands your career options once you graduate.

Cons of a Double Major and Double Minor

While a double major and double minor might be a great decision depending on your goals, it may not be the best choice for everyone. More is not always better if your grades suffer or if you are unable to balance the other aspects of your life. Some potential drawbacks include:

Some employers may not place much additional value in your additional academic credentials, so be sure you can still maintain a good grade point average and have opportunities for extracurriculars that will add value to your resume and your overall college experience.

By adding a double major and double minor, you may lose the opportunity to take additional elective courses to explore other interests.

Additional majors or minors will increase your course load. You may have to take classes in the summer to keep up with your academic plan which can increase your total cost of tuition and fees.

If you are considering adding a double major or minor, be sure to talk to your academic advisor to update your academic plan and find out if you can still graduate on time. You can alsotalk to other students who pursued a similar academic pathway to learn from their experience.

At the end of the day, make sure that you are adding a double major or minor for you, not for anyone else! Take time to reflect on your college and career goals to be intentional about your decision.

Summary

Adding a double major and double minor in college can add great value to your degree by expanding your career pathways, making your resume stand out to employers, and broadening your educational experience. You may also find that some of the classes you take in your major may overlap with the requirements of a different major or minor, so you can fulfill two different program requirements at the same time.

Since a double major and double minor takes additional time and effort, consider whether you would have to miss out on other opportunities for internships, part-time work, campus leadership, or studying abroad.

Talk to your academic advisor to discuss your goals and decide if adding a double major or double minor is the right decision for you.

Have a Question About College?

In our Ask a College Advisor series, experienced advisors provide an insider look at the college experience by answering your questions about college admissions, finances, and student life.

DISCLAIMER: The responses provided as part of the Ask a College Advisor series are for general informational purposes only. Readers should contact a professional academic, career, or financial advisor before making decisions regarding individual situations.

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