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What Are the Benefits of a Double Major in College?

by Maya Black, studioD

Some students have trouble picking a major, while others know exactly what they want to study. The desire to complete the requirements for two majors may complicate matters, especially if it means spending more time in college or paying additional tuition and fees. However, an article published in the "The Chronicle of Higher Education" in 2012 reports that up to 40 percent of college students make the decision to double up on coursework to increase opportunities after graduation.


Majoring in two subjects gives you the flexibility to pursue a broader range of career opportunities. This flexibility allows you to apply for jobs in two fields and pursue positions that offer higher pay and more advancement opportunities. As a double major, you can also capitalize on industry trends. For example, if you major in both journalism and computer science, and journalism jobs become scarce, you're still qualified to apply for a job in the computer science field.

Graduate School

Graduate school admissions can be competitive, especially when it comes to qualifying for fellowships. Some fields also offer more scholarship opportunities than others. With a double major, you can apply to graduate schools in both disciplines, then pick the university and discipline that gives you the best offer. If you major in economics and political science, for example, and apply to graduate schools in both fields, you may get a full fellowship to pursue one field and no financial aid for the other.

Personal Fulfillment

College can be a stressful experience. If you're determined to major in a field that offers you the best chance to land a job after graduation, you still can major in an additional subject to enrich your life. For example, majoring in engineering can increase employment opportunities, while majoring in fine arts lets you indulge your creativity. Similarly, majoring in a foreign language along with another degree increases opportunities for meaningful communication with members of other cultures.


Even if you major in two subjects, you'll receive one college degree only. To complete your degree in four years, begin chipping away at the requirements for both majors in your freshman year. You'll save time and money when courses in your majors overlap. For example, if you major in both education and psychology, you might take a class that fulfills a requirement for both majors.

About the Author

Maya Black has been covering business, food, travel, cultural topics and decorating since 1992. She has bachelor's degree in art and a master's degree in cultural studies from University of Texas, a culinary arts certificate and a real estate license. Her articles appear in magazines such as Virginia Living and Albemarle.

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