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Multiple Majors: What You Need to Know


Gull Life Editor

A student’s major is essentially the backbone of their college education.

It dictates what classes to take, when to take them and it specializes the student in whatever field they choose. And some students decide not to pursue just one area of study, and take on two majors.

What is the difference between a dual major and double major?

A student at Salisbury University can choose to be a dual major or a double major. Both programs satisfy the requirements of each major, the difference is that a double major will get one degree and a dual major has to complete 150 hours of coursework and will receive two degrees.

What kind of students have multiple majors?

Dr. Lori DeWitt, a communications arts professor at Salisbury University, explained that multiple majors are not for everyone. As an advisor, she rarely recommends it to students.

“It’s something students have to generate within themselves,” she said. “It’s for a student who knows where they want to go.”

DeWitt also pointed out that it depends on the program the student is in. For example, the nursing program has a heavy course load and strict schedule, so a student may not have time to fit in another major.

Students following two majors also have to be very focused, says DeWitt.

“It’s not something anyone can do,” she said.

What are the potential drawbacks of having more than one major?

Taking on a second major doubles the requirements needed to graduate, which may prevent a student on graduating in a timely manner.

Additionally, because a student has to take more required classes for their majors they may not have room to take as many elective credits.

DeWitt points out that elective credits are built into the curriculum so that students can try different things and get a more well-rounded education. So if someone is double majoring, their classes will be more focused and they may not have time to take other classes they may be interested in.

On the same line of thinking, someone with more than one major may be weighed down with coursework and may not have time for clubs and extracurricular activities.

If two majors end up being too much, DeWitt suggests looking into a double minor.

What are the potential benefits of having more than one major?

On the flip side, DeWitt says double and dual majoring gives people the opportunity to follow more than one passion. So missing out on some extra electives may not matter because they’re focusing on the things they’re already passionate about.

She also points out that students will have more depth and a richer background in their areas of study, which could give them a leg up.

From an advising standpoint, she also said that it’s very doable to graduate on time if a student plans it out correctly.

And most of all, she said it helps students set themselves apart from others, which just may help in the job hunt.

“I think when you do something unique, it helps you stand out,” she said.

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