As we usher in the new year, we also inch closer to university applications. As you consider the different options you have, one of the questions you need to answer would be whether to choose a Double Major Degree programme.
What Is A Double Major Degree?
First of all, a Double Major Degree is NOT a Double Degree. If you take a Double Degree, you will graduate from university with two degrees. A Double Major Degree is a single degree programme which allows students to explore and deepen their knowledge for an additional major alongside their first major. Your second major can be from your home faculty or from a different faculty, depending on the programmes offered by your University.
Doing a simple web search, we found that many local universities offer Double Major Degree Programmes, including National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore Management University (SMU). Each university have their own graduation requirements for a Double Major student.
Benefits Of Getting A Double Major Degree
Getting An Edge Over Your Peers
Taking up two different majors allows you to broaden your knowledge and insight. As we know, a university degree does not necessarily guarantee a job upon graduation. Hence, it would be useful to equip yourself with in-depth knowledge from two different field of studies to help yourself remain competitive in the workforce.
Allows You To Explore Different Areas In Depth
It is not uncommon for university students to be lost and unsure of what they want to do upon graduation. Of course, if you find yourself having an interest in two different fields of study, you can use your electives to find your other areas of interest. When you decide to formally apply for a Double Major Degree, you will then need to declare a specific area of interest as your second major to have it recognised in your degree.
Your Second Major Can Value Add to Your First Major
There is interconnectedness and synergies between different disciplines. For example, if you are a Business student who specialises in Marketing, having Communication and New Media as your second major can actually value add to your first major in terms of expanding and enhancing your current skillset.
Drawbacks Of Getting A Double Major Degree
You May Have To Delay Your Graduation
In order for you to successfully declare a major as your Second Major, you will have to clear a minimum number of modules or modular credits. These requirements tend to be more demanding than simply clearing your electives. As such, you may need to overload (doing more module credits than required in one academic semester), take special terms, go for summer schools and or even extend your graduation.
It Can Restrict You From Other Programmes Offered By The University
When taking up a second major, you are automatically using up all your electives on the second major. Electives are modules that undergraduates can take outside of their faculties and majors to broaden their learning. By dedicating all your electives to your second major, you are also restricting yourself from exploring different modules from different faculties and majors.
Electives can also be used for other programmes. Many students use their electives on School Exchange Programmes as it gives them greater flexibility to map modules to their Partner University Overseas. Electives can also be used for other specialised programmes. For example, NUS students can use their electives on the NUS Overseas College (NOC), which gives students the chance to learn more about entrepreneurship overseas by working as an intern overseas.
Additional Time Spent On Studying
Other than studying, the university life has much more to offer in terms of Co-curricular activities (CCAs), enrichment workshops and seminars and even hall life. These activities can teach us things we will never get to learn in the classrooms and lecture theatres. Needing to meet the additional requirements of Double Major Degree may mean you need to dedicate more time to studying, which might mean cutting back on non-academic activities.
It is important to thoroughly think through the pros and cons of getting a Double Major Degree before making your choice. It is beneficial for you to make your decision early into your undergraduate life as it will save you from taking electives that do not count towards fulfilling your Double Major Degree criteria. It would also be prudent to seek advice from your seniors or professors in your university to help you make the most informed decision.