1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is it worth staying in college an extra semester to double major?

  1. Apr 24, 2012 #1
    I'm a second semester freshman, and maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, but..

    Right now, I've declared a Physics BS and a minor in cognitive science. I've been thinking about declaring another major- Computer Science BS. i did some math and saw that some classes cancelled out with each other, and if I stayed an extra semester- I could complete this by doing 17 credits per semester.
    First semester gpa is like a 2.80
    my second semester gpa should be about 3.71

    I don't really know what specific career I want, but I dream of doing research in neuroscience and I feel like to be a good physicist, you should be good with computers. And in neurology, computers are really important- I feel like doing both majors are necessary.
    And it probably doesn't make a big difference with the cog minor, but I think cog courses helps me to grow a lot and goes along with the field I want to end up in anyways...

    I wouldn't be living on campus after sophomore year- so just tuition and fees (dorming fees subtracted) is like 3300 bucks.

    so is it worth it?
    also my dad has invested in the ge stock to pay for my last year (its at 21 thousand dollars as of now), which covers more than my last year, even with dorming (15 thousand dollars)

    if it isn't worth it, I will just major in Physics. I just need some guidance and opinions.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 24, 2012 #2
    This is, of course, just an opinion, but I think the answer is clearly yes if and only if you can keep up with the work adequately. Don't let adding another degree push you to the point where you are so overwhelmed you aren't learning anything or your GPA is tanking.

    I believe a physics BS by itself is kind of crappy for career prospects right out of school. You really need experience or education in some other field to combine with the physics for it to be valuable. Computer science, to me, seems like it would be one of those fields where you would be in great shape combining with physics. Whether one should double major or not should come down to a cost/benefit analysis and it sounds like you are fine on the finances side and one extra semester is nothing when you're looking at the long run.

    And yes, you are getting ahead of yourself in the sense you definitely should not have whatever decision you make now set in stone. Your interests may change pretty dramatically by the time you graduate, a double major may stop making sense at some point, etc. Best advice I can give is be flexible in reaching your goals.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook