Double Majoring

There are procedures that must be followed when applying to double major, and there is a relatively short window of time in a student’s progression of coursework during which declaring a double major at UC San Diego is normally permitted. You can find the rules at the campus web site and in the campus General Catalog. Thoroughly read all pertinent rules before taken steps to declare a double major; this includes rules on Page 2 of the Double Major Petition.

Nothing here is intended to replace a thorough reading of relevant policy information at the aforementioned links. The purpose of this page is to help you think about whether double majoring is a good idea for you.

When you double major, you complete all requirements for two UC San Diego undergraduate majors. This can be an impressive accomplishment if your academic achievement does not suffer as a result; there is little point in earning two degrees instead of one if the added work results in a lower GPA.

Double major is not synonymous with joint major. A joint major is like two half majors. The Joint Major in Mathematics and Economics, for example, has about 50% of its upper division coursework devoted to courses in the Department of Mathematics and about 50% devoted to courses in the Department of Economics.

If the idea of having two undergraduate degrees (but only one diploma) appeals to you, carefully ponder your reasons for wanting to do this. Just because you are capable of doing something does not in itself mean that you ought do it.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • What do I hope to gain by double majoring?
  • What will my two majors be, and why am I making those choices?
  • Will the added workload of double majoring result in my having a lower overall GPA?
  • Will a double major help me reach my career goals and salary expectations in a substantive way?
  • Will double-majoring lengthen the time it takes for me to finish undergraduate school? If yes, is the extra expense worthwhile?
  • Would I be better off working really hard to perform excellently in earning one degree and then go to graduate school for a second degree?

Write down your answers to the aforementioned questions. If, after further contemplation, you are still unsure whether double majoring is right for you, talk to departmental advisors and faculty members. It is not up to those people to make the decision for you, but they can provide guidance.

Note: Effective June 24, 2016, the UC San Diego Department of Mathematics is capped. This means that students have to apply before getting accepted for undergraduate studies. If you are not already an undergraduate student in the Department of Mathematics, and you want to declare a Math major as your second major, you will need to learn how to apply to the department. For more information on that topic, go to here.