3 answers

Is it better to get a dual degree or a double major? Also, does anyone know a child life specialist? Do they like it?

Asked Duncan, Oklahoma

I was planning on getting two degrees... one in family and child studies and one in early childhood education. If I get the dual degree in something similiar to these... I'd love to do this! #psychology #education #children

3 answers

Spruce’s Answer

Melissa, Your question about dual degree or double major is a very good question. A double major is one degree but with two areas of study (usually less depth for both majors and less cost than a dual degree). A dual degree is two full Bachelor’s degrees (full depth and full price) or some schools offer a dual degree option that is a Bachelor’s and a Masters back to back (cheaper because you commit to both at the beginning and there’s probably some crossover which will save you taking a few classes). For this option you get a Masters degree which would open more doors, but the risk is that if you later decide to not finish the Masters you can’t just stop and get your Bachelor’s because you committed to both. You’ll have to do your research though, because different schools have different rules and even within a specific school, different degrees have different fees. You’ll have to work this out within the school and within the two departments. Make sure your plan is clear and written down so if a professor retires it won’t affect your agreement with the school. The amount of time you’ll have to be in school is different, too. A double major should be a straight four years. A dual degree depends on how close the two majors are. If one is psychology and the other is music, it might take close to eight years. But your two are much closer so you’ll have a larger number of classes that count for both degrees, and total time in school I’m guessing will be between five and six years. You’ll need to work that out with the two schools just like above. Just for completeness you could go for a Bachelor’s first and then a Masters. That would normally take approximately six years. I bring it up because the options above will take you over four years anyway (except dual major) so if you’re already considering going longer than four years, the best use of your time I think would be a full Bachelor’s in say psychology and a Masters in education in six year’s time. The Masters would give you a real advantage in most professional disciplines. This is a long answer and I hope you can use some of the information here, but please remember that whatever schooling you pursue needs to be what you want to do and how much time and money you want to spend. I have a Bachelor’s degree and I’ve always wished I had gotten a Masters, but I made life decisions along the way and looking back I know I made the right ones. I hope you do too. Good luck.

Roger’s Answer

Updated Bethesda, Maryland
I gt a Bachelors in Science and one in English as an undergrad and that has been remarkably useful to me both in that I think I got a much more well-rounded education but also, it is something that people tend to highlight about my career when I give talks. I think there are advantages as well in biomedical science to doing a dual MD/Ph.D. tract as you get clinical training as well as being exposed to scientific research so you have both tracks open to you.

Leslie’s Answer


If there is no NEED for a double major or dual degree, then it is not necessary. Wait until you get into your studies, before you really consider double majoring. My experience has been that many people who double major, change their minds while in school. They have so many credits in one degree program that it makes no sense not to get that degree and then they complete the requirements for the second degree. This is not always the case, but it happens so often.

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