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Difference between dual degree and double major

The academic step that comes after high school is the pursuing of an undergraduate degree or as some people commonly refer to it, a bachelor degree. There are countless disciplines in which people do their undergraduate studies; and there are some who take up two related disciplines for further studies. Some people have a double major degree whereas some have single majors. Yet there are some who work towards a dual degree. There are significant differences between the paths one may take. Let us see each of these in detail and then clarify some factors that make them different.

Dual degree

A dual degree program, which is also known as a combined degree, double degree or a simultaneous degree program requires the student to work towards two different university degrees. This means that the student is working at the same time towards two degrees. This can be at the same institution or different institutions. The different institutions may also be in two different countries. The reason why a person may opt for a dual degree is that it is possible to complete both the degrees in less time than completing them separately one after the other.  Moreover, the two degrees can be in the same subject area or in two different subjects.

Double majors

A double major undergraduate student is a student who gets one degree for completing two sets of degree requirements. In their undergraduate program, they have two major subjects and the credibility of their degree is as good as a student who does two degrees one in each of the given subjects. The degree awarded at the time of graduation, however, is only one. Nonetheless, both the subjects are mentioned as majors. If we look at the current education system in the United States, 25% of college graduates are working towards a degree with more than one major subject. The main reason for double major study is that having a grip over two subjects is bound to give a student an edge in the job market. Moreover, many a times it is important that to study one discipline, a student have prior knowledge of another discipline. An example is of the importance of mathematical knowledge to study economics; which is the reason that a common degree program in many parts of the world is the double major BSc in Mathematics and Economics.

Differences

The main difference between the two is simple. Dual degree means working towards two degrees in which the student eventually gets two degrees. This may be from the same or different institutions. In the case of double majors however, a student works towards two major subjects, but one degree. The two subjects are usually in the same subject area, such as accounting and finance both lie under commerce; finance and economics both fall under business studies and require a firm grip on mathematics. Also, the study for both subjects is conducted at the same university. What makes a double major almost as good as two degrees in each of the given subjects is the rigorous work that a student has to do for both major subjects.

The main reason a person might pursue dual degrees is to save time; if they rather did the two degrees separately, it would take them more time for completion. However, the main reason behind doing a degree with dual majors is to stand out in the job market as a person who has a good grip on two related disciplines.

Summary

  1. A dual degree program, which is also known as a combined degree, double degree or a simultaneous degree program requires that the student work towards two different university degrees; a double major undergraduate student is a student who gets one degree for completing two sets of degree requirements

  2. One degree is awarded in dual majors; two in dual degrees

  3. Dual degrees can be in different institutions; dual major studies is at one institution

  4. The main reason a person might pursue dual degree is to save time; if they rather did the two degrees separately, it would take them more time for completion; main reason behind doing a degree with dual majors is to stand out in the job market as a person who has a good grip on two related disciplines

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1 Comment

  1. The word disciple is used multiple times instead of the word discipline, which I think was meant to be used.

    This is a very helpful explanation aside from that! Thank you.

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