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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Benefits of a double major

Although it can take longer, there are many perks to having a double major


By JENA TUFAIL — jjtufail@ucdavis.edu


Choosing a major when you first start at university can be difficult, but it can be even harder when you have so many varying interests. Coming to UC Davis, I knew how much I loved sociocultural anthropology, but I was also passionate about other disciplines. I was always worried that I would never have time to incorporate everything I wanted to into my schedule — until I learned about having a double major. 

This came naturally, as my major had many outside electives I could take that would allow me to explore my varying interests. By my third quarter, I was taking classes in two other departments, and this eventually inspired me to add another major. 

While it can seem daunting to declare a double major, there is sometimes overlap between majors, which can lessen your workload. As a double major in sociocultural anthropology and communications, with a minor in psychology, I was able to overlap up to two courses from my majors, as well as one class each from my majors with my minor.

Double majoring also gives you a diverse outlook and set of skills that you can potentially use in the future. For example, I knew that my anthropology major would be useful for a career, but both my communication and psychology classes would prepare me in ways I never thought of. I feel more well-rounded as a student, and I know I will be able to use all the skills I have learned from my majors in numerous ways.

Another reason why double majoring is a great choice is that you can choose a second major that is full of fun classes you enjoy. I majored in communication not only because I love what I learn, but because I hope to work in a job that utilizes the skills I’ve developed in my classes. I majored in sociocultural anthropology because I loved what I was learning, but also because it was fun and exciting for me to learn from my professors, and I minored in psychology because I found enjoyment in the field and wanted to learn more. I found a purpose in each major that I chose, and it made school more exciting for me. Not only am I gaining a degree to use when I enter the workforce, but I also enjoy what I am learning. 

As a double major, you may also have added career opportunities. I have the potential to work in both anthropology or communication, or I can go back and get my master’s in either as well. Double majoring opened up a broad range of opportunities for me, and I have many more options than if I just had one major. 

Although there are many benefits to obtaining a double major, there can be some downsides. For some, it may prolong your graduation time, depending on how different your requirements are from each major. You may also have a harder time taking breaks, as you may need to also take classes over the summer terms. I recommend doing your research and deciding what is best for you, personally. If the positives are stronger than the negatives, maybe it is something you should look into, but if it will make your path harder, picking up just a minor instead is also a great option. Whatever you do, it’s important to remember that education is flexible. If you want to take those classes, go ahead and take them!


Written by: Jena Tufail  — jjtufail@ucdavis.edu

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by individual columnists belong to the columnists alone and do not necessarily indicate the views and opinions held by The California Aggie.