Preparing College Students for a Double Major

Charles Stam is a public policy analyst and a Columbia College graduate who double-majored in history and political science. In particular, Charles M. Stam focused his studies on post-World War II and Cold War-era American political history as well as international relations. Charles Maurice Stam utilized both fields of study to enhance his understanding of present day American politics.

For some students entering their first years of college, deciding to declare two majors might be an obvious choice. An individual who wants to become a literary agent, for example, could benefit from coursework in both English literature and business, so pairing the two as a double major makes perfect sense. For those considering a marriage of bio-engineering and advanced mathematics, on the other hand, the prospect might seem a bit more daunting. There are a few steps to take before declaring two majors in order to make sure that the decision is the right one.

To start, make a simple list of pros and cons. Think of the time constraints involved with a double major, both in terms of how much work you will be putting in on a daily basis and how many additional semesters you might need to attend in order to complete both degrees. Staying an extra year or two also poses a serious financial burden, another point of consideration. There are a number of personal advisers, career counselors, and department heads who can discuss the requirements of a double major, while students on campus who are double majoring can serve as a direct source for information on the prospect. In the end, the matter is a personal decision, and students who feel that they can handle the workload and will benefit later in life from completing a double major should do so.

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