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Is there great value in pursuing a doule major or major/minor combination? Or is it better to naroow your focus early on andpursue only one major?

I have contemplated doing a combination of both business and medicine to pursue a positon hospital administration, and possibly a minor in music as that has been a major element of my life thus far. I am wondering if that is maybe taking on more work than it wll ultimately be worth.
#college #college-major #double-major #academic-advising #business #medicine

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Anna’s Answer


Pursuing a double major and minor certainly has both pros and cons. And the pros and cons depend on your overall goals, circumstances, opportunities, finances, etc. When I was an undergraduate, I did 2 majors and 2 minors, one of my minors being a study abroad - and I was out in 4.5 or 5 years. My majors and one minor had a lot of overlapping classes, so it was easy to accomplish this. Also, my scholarship (I had a generous one and had very little out of pocket expenses) was not limited by time or attempted credit hours. And due to some legal family considerations, my parents encouraged me to try to stay in college longer than 4 years. As I don't know any of your circumstances, I can't really say what is better for you. I guess what I am trying to say is consider your circumstances and options.

An alternative to doing a double major would be to possibly do a major + 2 minors, and then continue on to graduate school. As medicine in the US is typically something you go in after you complete your bachelor's degree, you may focus your bachelor's onto the business side of your interests. OR you can explore the option to study public health as a master's, rather than medicine.

I'd encourage you to discuss this with an academic advisor at the university you are at/institution you will be applying for. Also, you may seek to do an informational interview with a hospital manager or two - talk to them about your aspirations and ask them about what their path was like and any recommendations they may have for you.

Anna recommends the following next steps:

do informational interviews with professionals
meet with an academic advisor

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William’s Answer

It is better to pursue a double major or a major/minor combination rather than a single major. Part of the educational process is not just preparing yourself for a professional goal, such as medicine, but is also preparing yourself as a human being who is well rounded and has taken the time to develop all aspects of their personality structure. By so doing you challenge yourself and in the process have a better chance of developing totally. In so doing you have a more rounded perspective of the issues that will face you personally and professionally.

As an example, if you are interested in medicine by all means take the appropriate courses to prepare yourself for medical school. Having said that, if you have an interest in languages, history, music, etc., avail yourself of the opportunity to learn as much as you can. In the end you will evolve more expansively and have a better perspective in addressing the various issues in life we all face both personally and professionally.

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Ria’s Answer

I think pursuing your academic and non academic interests is great in college since this is the time when you can really make use of a university's resources to explore your passions. It is important, however, to plan ahead and make sure that you can indeed finish all of the required courses during 4 years. I took some time in the summer before college to map out my courses over 8 semesters so that I could roughly know which courses I needed to take when. While this may seem daunting, it is definitely helpful come course registration and can help keep you on track for graduation especially when you are taking on multiple majors.