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Is this a wise decision? At all? Doing a double major and a minor

  1. Mar 15, 2010 #1
    If I were to do a double major in Physics and Mathematics, should I do a minor in English? Or should I do a minor in something like Psychology?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 16, 2010 #2
    Why are you getting the minor? Pretty much every thread on this site concludes that they don't help in terms of jobs or grad schools. Just get good grades in your humanities courses if you want solid evidence that you can handle non-math stuff.
  4. Mar 16, 2010 #3
    I just want to study some college English. Do you think I can sneak into a class? Do they even take attendance in college? Do professors care if I sneak in there?
  5. Mar 16, 2010 #4


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    You can't "sneak" into classes at the start, and it's really not something you should do. Just take the class if you want it or audit it.
  6. Mar 16, 2010 #5
    Some don't, but you usually need to know the professor beforehand or know he doesn't care. Big lecture classes are usually easy to sneak into, but I've brought people to sit in on all sorts of upper level engineering classes without the professors commenting.
  7. Mar 16, 2010 #6
    Would I only get in trouble if he calls you out to answer a question? Or do they only do that in cartoons?
  8. Mar 16, 2010 #7
    You may want to consider a double major in humanities, depending on what your goals are. A humanities double major probably won't help you get into a PhD program, but it will definitely help when applying to most jobs or to business or law school. Math and physics sounds like a grad school oriented combo though, in which case you should just take whatever elective courses you can fit in without worrying about a minor.
  9. Mar 16, 2010 #8
    Oh, and if you want classes that will help you write papers and craft arguments, I recommend philosophy over english :smile:. If you're more interested in reading novels or whatever else then english is obviously the way to go.

    Disclaimer: I double majored in engineering and philosophy with a stats minor, and I'm very glad that I did.
  10. Mar 16, 2010 #9
    Concerning sneaking into classes... Make sure you pick a class that's 50+ students or they might notice you. Also, join the class on the 2nd week of classes, by then the paperwork/attendance items were done. The big problem with sneaking in is you can't really participate. If you ask questions you'll attract attention. You can't take the tests or online homework either.

    In case you're wondering, I was broke last year and couldn't take classes so I snuck into a Math and Physics classes. Haha, I always wondered if anyone else has done this before... Good luck.
  11. Mar 16, 2010 #10


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    If you're attending college in the US, you don't have to sneak into classes - you can take any class you want, you don't have to major in the subject to study it. You'll have a number of elective classes which you can fill by studying anything you're interested in.
  12. Mar 16, 2010 #11


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    Ok I should have made it clear about what I meant about what I said. Don't sneak into classes that are at capacity. This is probably easily dealt with by not attending the first couple weeks or on exam days.
  13. Mar 16, 2010 #12
    But then you have to pay for the courses, and it gets a little bit complicated for upper division stuff.

    I picked up all the coursework for a double major in psych/compE, but my school's bureaucracy makes it difficult to actually get that cute little psych degree. The major is useful 'cause I want to do interdisciplinary stuff at the grad level, but I didn't need the entire major for my research. I vote with Eri that it's probably more sensible to just concentrate your humanities requirements in English. (Most of the engineers I know do theirs in psych or econ, with a few picking up art courses.)

    If he's the type to care about students sitting in, he'll kick you out long before then. If he's the type not to care, he probably won't notice that you don't belong and a simple "I don't know" should suffice. You're only in trouble if he asks your name and looks at the roll, but you can usually just say that you registered late or some such.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2010
  14. Mar 16, 2010 #13
    I don't think anyone will tell you that, with a double major, you *should* also take a minor in english. If you want to, then that's your choice: you seem to already be aware that adding a minor won't be beneficial CV wise, and will be more about your own personal development.
  15. Mar 17, 2010 #14
    What if I lie about my name
  16. Mar 17, 2010 #15
    Make sure it's a name that appears on the role and that he hasn't placed the name to a face yet. Be careful though 'cause if you never show up for exams, the professor will get suspicious if it's not a huge class, and if you always show up for exams, you'll have problems too.

    Seriously though, just ask kids in the classes you want to informally audit if the professor seems like he'll mind you sitting in. Lots of the ones I know really don't care. If you've got a flat tuition rate (you're paying the same for 12 or 15 or 18 credits), save yourself a headache and just register to audit the class.
  17. Mar 17, 2010 #16
    Can they suspend me or arrest me if I get caught?
  18. Mar 17, 2010 #17
    Are you kidding?
  19. Mar 17, 2010 #18
    Only if you do something illegal like impersonate a different student or break a rule by lying about who you are. Seriously, the worst you'd likely get for just sitting in on a class you haven't registered for is the professor telling you off.
  20. Mar 18, 2010 #19
    But isn't that the same as claiming that you are someone else?
  21. Mar 18, 2010 #20
    No. And besides, professors are people too, they're not going to phone the police because you sat in on a lecture.
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