A Double Major and a Dual Degree: What is involved?

As someone who is currently in their final year here at UC, I thought I might be able to give some unique insight into the majors I am enrolled in for those who have yet to declare a major. In addition to that, I thought it might be important to touch on the possibility of completing a minor, dual major, or dual degree for those who have already declared a major, as well as those who haven’t. The experience can be enriching and quite rewarding if you have the time and dedication in order to do it well.

Personally, I am completing a dual degree in Psychology and Business Management, and I can tell you from experience that both programs are great. Initially, these two programs seem somewhat divergent, however when you get down to the bare bones of both programs you can begin to see a good amount of overlap. This fact is especially true in my case, when you consider that I am completing a concentration in Marketing as part of the Business program.

The Business Management program prepares students for a multitude of different management positions. The classes center around the various aspects of creating, running, and sustaining a business. These range from classes in Economics, Finance, Accounting, and Risk Management Insurance; to classes in Marketing, Human Resources, and even some in Entrepreneurship. The ultimate goal of the program is to prepare students to set out into the real world and succeed in whatever business path they choose to pursue. The professors in the program all hold either Doctorates in their field, or extensive years of critical experience working for actual companies and corporations. This type of real world experience allows the professors to give examples from their own experience in relation to the course material. The best aspect of the program is that it equips you with critical skills that can be applied to any workplace you choose. Just about every workplace needs managers who can put the company on a path toward success. A degree in management can quite literally be applied to any profession that you can imagine, if you take the proper steps.

Likewise, the Psychology program also has a lot to offer to anyone who enrolls. Within the Psychology program you will be exposed to a multitude of disciplines within the area of psychology. Classes range from Statistics and Research Methods, to Counseling, Psychobiology, and Cognitive Psychology; among so many more. The Psychology program allows students to chart their path towards a career in Psychology, whether that career is in Counseling, Clinical Psychology, or Research. A degree in psychology can also open doors into related careers in which a background in psychology could be useful; these careers might include Forensic Crime investigation and Marketing, along with a host of other careers. Each of the professors in the program hold a Ph.D. in their respective field of psychology, giving students access to a veritable treasure trove of knowledge.

When I was first applying to colleges I was split on whether I wanted to pursue a degree in Psychology or one in Business Management. This is where the opportunity to complete a double major came into play. By opting to double major, I was able to gain knowledge in both fields that I could apply towards deciding what to do after college. As I said before, I was lucky that my two interests fit together so well. That being said, even if your interests don’t necessarily converge, you should still look into a double major or at least a minor if you have another interest besides your declared program. Not only does this allow you to pursue valuable knowledge, it also makes you more marketable to employers. At a base level, if your future employer sees that you completed an extra major or minor, this indicates to them that you are well-rounded and well-educated. Additionally, it might also indicate that you are a driven individual, and that you are not afraid to take on a challenge. Moreover, the additional major or minor may be a key aspect they were searching for in an employee. For example, if you are a Business Major, it may be beneficial to complete a minor in one or more foreign languages. This way, when applying for jobs you have the added selling point that you are experienced in a number of foreign languages and can communicate with international customers or international business partners.

As I said before, I am completing what is called a dual degree. Completing a dual degree requires good time management skills and the ability to plan ahead in order to make sure you take all your required classes, however if you are willing to put in the effort, this can be a worthwhile venture. There are several distinctions between a double major and a dual degree. When completing a dual degree you are required to complete an additional 30 credit hours of course work in any classes that you choose, bringing the total up to at least 150 credit hours of work upon graduation. Luckily, you can utilize transfer credits from another university or from high school in order to supplement the required credit hours. Additionally, you cannot choose two BA programs or two BS programs; rather one must be a BA and the other a BS. The main distinction between a double major and a dual degree is the outcome. Upon completing a double major you will receive a degree in one of your chosen majors, and the other will be noted on your transcript and you can list it as such on applications. Upon completing a dual degree, you will receive a degree from both majors and can list either or both on your application as such. In simpler terms, with a double major you receive one Bachelor’s degree with a notation of an additional major, and with a dual degree you receive two Bachelor’s degrees. This can be helpful when applying for jobs, as you can fall back on either degree in the event that you cannot find a job. In other words, it gives you some wiggle room when searching for jobs so that you are not locked into one field or the other.

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