Should You Triple Major in College?
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- Motivated students can gain skills and knowledge in multiple areas.
- Completing three majors may give you more options in the job market.
- You likely will need to make sacrifices in other areas of your life to make it work.
- Compared to peers pursuing one major, your college life may not be as much fun.
If you're familiar with the idea of double majoring, it should be pretty straightforward to understand triple majoring — you're simply adding one more area of study. While not for the faint of heart, choosing this path can help motivated and focused students gain the knowledge and competencies required to excel in multiple disciplines. It also can help them stand out to hiring managers during job interviews.
This rigorous path offers several pros and cons. Learners considering this option should research the realities of triple majoring to make an informed decision.
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3 Pros of Triple Majoring in College
By triple majoring, you'll get the chance to dive into several fields at once and even impress potential employers. Here are the biggest advantages of pursuing three majors in college.
You Can Explore Different Interests
If you've struggled to narrow your interests to just one major, pursuing studies in multiple areas can help you explore a wider variety of topics. Before choosing your majors, consider how these fields work together and what jobs they could help you pursue. Deciding on your majors requires careful and diligent thought and should not be taken lightly.
For instance, if you want to work in foreign policy, you might consider triple majoring in a foreign language, international relations, and public policy. Each of these degrees also can be used on their own to pursue a job. This can give you multiple career options — both right after graduation and in the future if you ever want to pivot your career.
Whether you choose from the most popular college majors or gravitate toward more niche topics, this path helps you leave college with a well-rounded education.
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It Can Help You Meet Employers' Needs
Today's jobs feature increasingly multidisciplinary tasks. Hiring managers may search for candidates with a variety of employable skills. Candidates who triple major may have an advantage when it comes to preparing for a first job since they've mastered multiple subject areas.
Triple majors work on building many hard and soft skills. In addition to knowledge directly related to their study areas, these graduates typically learn to understand the importance of effective communication, multitasking, teamwork, and grace under pressure. This comes from their years of managing a chaotic college schedule.
It's an Efficient Use of Time and Tuition
It should come as no surprise that triple majoring requires exceptional focus and effort. However, the payoff can be an enriching experience — and it can help save money.
When figuring out whether it will cost you more to complete two additional majors, it's important to consider how much your chosen programs overlap. Some students may select degrees with significant overlap, while others may choose unique options.
You should also consider whether you're graduating with a single degree or 2-3 separate degrees. Do all your chosen majors fall under one degree (e.g., bachelor of arts or bachelor of science)? Or do they fall under multiple degrees (e.g., bachelor of arts and bachelor of business administration)? Understanding this will help you determine how many credits you need and how much your degree will cost.
Even if you do end up taking additional credits or spending more time in school, you may still be saving money in the long run because you're completing three majors at once.
3 Cons of Triple Majoring in College
Although triple majoring can be academically enlightening and intellectually stimulating, it's a tricky path filled with commitments, work, and strict scheduling. Here are the biggest drawbacks when it comes to pursuing three majors.
You May Have Less Fun
When trying to complete requirements for three separate majors while still graduating in as close to four years as possible, you will likely have less free time than your peers. In addition to spending more time in class, you'll have more homework.
If you decide to pursue three majors, you may find that you have less time to make friends in college or get involved on campus. This may mean participating in fewer extracurricular clubs and activities, saying no to social invites, and spending your time in the library rather than enjoying a night out.
Triple majoring may also eliminate many of your free credits typically devoted to elective classes. Taking a class that has nothing to do with your major can be part of the fun of college, but you may miss out on this experience.
You'll Have to Take More Classes
Pursuing a triple major in college will probably mean taking more classes than a peer working toward only one major. The exact number depends on how and if any of your major requirements overlap. You should speak with your academic advisor to learn more about what to expect.
In many cases, students pursuing a triple major must also complete summer and/or winter classes to keep up with requirements and graduate on time. Classes taken outside regular semester parameters may have different requirements and expectations, so think carefully about whether to take summer classes.
Regardless of all your planning, know that you will almost certainly have heavy course loads every semester. There's also a decent chance it will take you longer than four years to graduate — even if you do take summer and winter classes to catch up.
You May Struggle to Balance Your Schedule
While students with a single major typically take 4-5 classes per semester, you may regularly need to take 6-7 as a triple major. As a result, keeping track of your classes and assignments may prove difficult.
It's also important to remember that you'll have commitments outside school, such as keeping up with friendships and family relationships. Staying organized in college is important to finding balance in your life, as is picking a class schedule that won't have you criss-crossing campus five times per day.
Regardless of your best-laid plans, finding balance as a triple major will probably be tricky. Be prepared for your schedule to change each semester, and give yourself time to find a new balance and rhythm to your days each term.
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