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Is majoring in both computer science and psychology possible?

I’m a year 10 student and I know It’s way too early to start thinking about what I should major in when I get into college, but I can’t help but think about it because I’m stuck between computer science and psychology, I love both equally, so I thought, maybe I could major in both but I’m not sure that’s possible as they’re both significantly distinctive college-major psychology computer-science

Hello Dhabya, I went through a similar conflict in my freshman year of college. I was a computer science major, but I was also interested in becoming a dentist. I talked with my advisor and they sorted many of my questions out! I had the possibility of doing both, but ended up choosing CS. I would like you to know that there are many possibilities in college and you don't have to pick a specific major when you go either! You have the option to double major, have one major and one minor, or even just choosing one major. In fact, if you go into college as undecided you can experiment with classes from all majors you like and choose one at a later date. I hope this gives more insight and I know you will make the right choice! Jason P.

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Stacey’s Answer

Yes, this is definitely possible but you will need to plan for it from the onset. You will want to look at universities that have both majors and look at the requirements and talk to the college deans when you apply. Many times these majors are not in the same college of a university so the general education requirements will be different. It might mean that you need to take extra classes to meet all the requirements. Or you may choose to minor in one and major in the other in order to graduate in 4 years and not spend extra money and time getting the second degree. But I know it is possible because my daughter goes to school with people who are doing this combo, but they are working extra hard. I also recommend that you explore the neuroscience degrees at universities. You might find that has the right mix of CompSci and Psychology, or you might find that major aligns with your interests. Another degree to explore is Human Factors -- that major studies how human beings interact with technology and teach you the skills to measure and assess technology use. You would be gaining both a technology background and a psychology background with that major.

Stacey recommends the following next steps:

Research Neuroscience and Human Factor majors on College Board
Look at requirements for Psychology and CompSci at your top universities
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Veronica’s Answer

Hi Dhabya!

Though I don't have majors in either, I can tell you that i have friends that have two majors as dissimilar as the one you are proposing. For example, my best friend has a major in VET and psychology and my sister in Economics and Psychology.

Having said that, I believe that what you probably should think is whether you will have the time to do both in parallel or maybe do one after the other one. Sometimes you can get overwhelmed and your performance might decrease in both... maybe just focusing first on one will ensure that you take full advantage and are on top of your class ! :)

Also, if you are not yet still decided, I would maybe use the time to talk to people that had done either majors and ask them about things like: time dedication, job opportunities . Actually posting the question here is a great start !

So bottom line, yes, it's totally possible and the fact that they are so dissimilar wont' be the key but more if you want to spend the time on both and whether you are really passionate on both.

Hope this helped you!!

Hey Veronica, Thank you so much, That was extremely helpful. I’m not that social thus I don’t know many people who have double majors, I appreciate the time you have dedicated to answer my doubt :) Dhabya I.

Absolutely. I have quite a number of friend who do have two and I've asked. Their response was that it was hard but if you are a focused person it will work for you. Most of them though, they finished their first one and then they started the second one :) Veronica S

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Meghan’s Answer

Yes this is possible and it is a great idea!

I took a class in college called Minds as Machines. It was a class about how computers are like minds. The class drew connections between the way the human mind takes in information to the way you code information into computers. It also illustrated the way memories are formed and stored in the mind and how a computer remembers rules, preference, and past user behavior.

We did a project once in that class where we coded behavior into a small dinosaur robot. The idea behind it was to illustrate coding and behavior as one. One thing we coded was that if the robot was in the dark it would lay down to sleep but if it was in the light it would stand and then go into its food finding behaviors. This project was a perfect way to truly see the connection between the way computers work to the way our minds work.

I say all of this to show you that while they may seem like significantly different areas of study they connect in a way that may help you to better understand one by knowing the other. By understanding computers, coding, systems, and technology you begin to understand the way the human mind works a little bit better.

Both degrees are great options but together they're a fantastic mix!
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Wayne’s Answer

Yes you can Dhabya! My manager majored in computer science and minored in psychology. I recommend looking at both programs carefully and deciding if you can succeed in both fields of studies. Good luck!

Will do and thank you so much :) Dhabya I.

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Craig’s Answer

Hi Dhabya,

Short answer, yes you can definitely major in both.

Having said that, there is a good chance doing both will take longer than only pursuing one major. There's nothing wrong with that! Sometimes class schedules just won't allow for you to do both in parallel because classes require other classes to be done first and are only offered in one semester. For example, I initially had plans to dual major in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. Unfortunately for me the class schedule did not line up to complete in 4 years so I settled for a minor in one.

It sounds like you're not in college yet so try reaching out to any sort of local advisor and see if there are some college credit classes you can take now to give yourself a head start. For example, in the United States, I was able to take several college level classes while I was high school and I got to "skip" a lot of intro classes once I actually got to college.

I’m going to year 13 and doing A levels in a couple of years, I’m really not sure if that’s the same thing... ? Thanks for the advice though :) Dhabya I.

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Preeti’s Answer

Of course, Dhabya! Getting a deeper knowledge in two dissimilar fields also makes you well-rounded and could give you an edge when it comes to perspective. I also recommend looking at Cognitive Sciences programs at universities and seeing if this sounds interesting to you. If you need help picking between subjects that seem similar, try to look at job descriptions and skills required for roles that seem more attractive to you. Then work backwards and see what steps people who are in those roles took to get there or what they found most useful (connect through local advisors or LinkedIn). That could help you plan out your schedule, while giving yourself the flexibility to experiment with subjects you find interesting from now onwards.