Whether or not to double major at Iona

Natalie Jimenez, Staff Writer

College comes at such an early time in life and not everyone knows what they want to study when the time comes to decide. But what about students who have several ideas and just can’t pick one? What do they do? Double majoring is a great solution!

Double majoring or adding a minor can be an extremely demanding option depending on the two tracks one decides to embark on. Taking on two majors that are completely unrelated could be very challenging. However, choosing two majors that have similarities or are within the same school can be a little simpler. For some, no matter the increased course load, it’s the perfect decision!

One of the biggest reasons why double majoring is a good idea is that you get more bang for your buck. As students, we are already paying for the option to take six classes each semester – if academically eligible – so why not take advantage of everything you paid for? Most double majors are able to complete their coursework on time with everyone else by just taking six classes a semester. Others choose to take classes during the summer of the winter intersession to lighten their weekly load.

Double majoring also means graduating with credentials in two fields, which could help students to stand out in their field as a recent graduate. Taking on multiple fields of study and expanding one’s knowledge in that way gives students more options and can lead to new unexpected opportunities. Having knowledge in a field that is not your own makes you stand out amongst those around you.

Some people feel that they cannot double major because they will not be able to complete their bachelor’s degree in the common four year period that other students complete their degrees. However, with proper planning and hard work, it is completely possible to graduate in four years and could ultimately be worth the experience.

Certain double majors could pose more challenges than others. For instance, a major in the humanities and one in the sciences could be more strenuous and more time-consuming to pull off, considering the requirements are completely unrelated and will most likely not overlap.

One of the most common double majors at Iona is an English and Mass Communications double major. Both majors share similar requirements, and depending on the concentration chosen in Mass Communications, writing styles may overlap as well. Another coupling that is common is Political Science and Environmental Studies. These two courses of study tend to overlap in many areas and make it easier for students to embark on them both in the future. In fact, this is a great track for anyone looking into environmental policy or advocacy in the future.

What should someone think about when they want to double major? There are two different types of majors one should consider: One that you, the student, are passionate about, and two, a major that teaches tangible skills and is therefore more marketable. Embarking on both makes it more likely for students to complete college because they are passionate about at least one of their majors. Choosing a second major that broadens one’s understanding of a topic will also set students up better for the career field.

Adding a minor or double minoring is a good idea for students who want to learn more about a certain field but do not want to have to dedicate the time that an entire major would require. Minoring can often mean just deciding to take electives that one has to take regardless and deciding to focus them on a subject. Double minoring also gives students a marketability that students whom decide to just focus on their majors throughout their college careers may be lacking. The job market today especially is demanding workers who are more flexible and willing to learn new things. Having embarked in a minor or double minor shows employers that you are someone capable of doing these things and therefore an asset.

Some students may still be asking what makes someone want to double major or double minor. Is it plain indecisiveness or are these students just being ambitious? Maybe they just want to take advantage of all the opportunities offered to them. Whether or not to double major or double minor is a personal choice. However, if you aren’t being challenged or you feel something is missing academically, talk to your advisor. You just may be surprised by the variety of options available to you.