Graduate school is an exciting time filled with opportunities for advanced learning and career development. As you consider applying to graduate programs, you may be wondering if it’s possible to double major and earn two master’s degrees at once.

The quick answer is yes, it is possible to double major in graduate school under certain conditions.

In this comprehensive guide, we will look at everything you need to know about double majoring in graduate school. We’ll cover whether it’s allowed, the pros and cons, tips for applying and completing a double major, and examples of dual degree programs you can enroll in.

Is It Possible to Double Major in Graduate School?

Many graduate schools allow students to pursue a double major under certain requirements. While it may not be as common as in undergraduate studies, there are programs that offer this option for ambitious students who want to delve into multiple fields simultaneously.

Double majoring is allowed at many grad schools under certain requirements

Graduate schools understand that some students have diverse interests and want to expand their knowledge in more than one area. Therefore, they have created opportunities for students to pursue a double major.

However, it is important to note that not all graduate schools offer this option, so it’s crucial to research and find programs that do.

Some universities have specific dual degree programs that allow students to earn two master’s degrees concurrently. These programs are designed to provide a balanced curriculum that encompasses both majors.

Additionally, some institutions may allow students to create their own double major by combining two compatible fields of study.

You’ll need to meet admissions criteria for both programs and complete all degree requirements

Just like with any other major, pursuing a double major in graduate school requires meeting the admissions criteria for both programs. This means that you’ll need to fulfill the prerequisite courses, have a strong academic record, and meet any other specific requirements set by the departments offering the majors.

Furthermore, you’ll need to complete all the degree requirements for both majors. This includes taking the required courses, fulfilling any research or internship requirements, and completing a thesis or capstone project if necessary.

It’s important to carefully plan your course schedule to ensure you can meet the requirements for both majors within a reasonable timeframe.

It typically takes 1-2 extra semesters to finish two master’s degrees

Pursuing a double major in graduate school usually means extending your time in the program. While it can vary depending on the specific majors and programs, it typically takes an additional 1-2 semesters to complete two master’s degrees.

This is because you’ll need to fulfill the requirements for both majors, which may involve taking extra courses or conducting additional research. It’s important to consider the additional time commitment and workload before deciding to pursue a double major in graduate school.

Ultimately, whether or not you can double major in graduate school depends on the specific programs and institutions you are considering. It’s important to research and reach out to admissions offices or program directors to inquire about the availability of double major options.

By carefully planning and balancing your coursework, it is possible to pursue two master’s degrees and expand your knowledge in multiple fields.

The Pros and Cons of a Graduate School Double Major

Pros: broader knowledge, stand out to employers, combine complementary fields

Opting for a double major in graduate school can offer several advantages. Firstly, it allows students to gain a broader knowledge base by studying two different subjects in depth. This can be particularly beneficial for those who have a strong interest in multiple areas and want to delve into both during their academic journey.

By immersing themselves in two fields, students can develop a well-rounded perspective and expand their skill set.

Additionally, a double major can make graduates stand out to employers. Having expertise in two distinct areas can demonstrate versatility, adaptability, and a willingness to take on challenges. These qualities are highly valued in today’s competitive job market, where employers are seeking candidates with diverse skill sets.

By showcasing a double major, individuals can position themselves as unique and valuable assets to potential employers.

Moreover, a double major allows students to combine complementary fields. For example, someone pursuing a double major in psychology and neuroscience can explore the intersection between the two disciplines, gaining insights into how the mind and brain work together.

This interdisciplinary approach can lead to innovative ideas and breakthroughs in research, as well as provide a well-rounded education that encompasses multiple perspectives.

Cons: more expensive, extra time in school, difficult schedule

While there are numerous benefits to pursuing a double major in graduate school, it is important to consider the potential drawbacks as well. One of the main disadvantages is the increased cost. Adding another major means taking additional courses, which may require more tuition fees and expenses.

It is crucial for students to carefully evaluate their financial situation and determine if they can afford the extra expenses associated with a double major.

Another downside is the extra time spent in school. Pursuing a double major can extend the duration of a graduate program, potentially delaying entry into the workforce or other post-graduate plans. Students must be prepared to invest additional time and effort into their studies to successfully complete both majors.

It is essential to weigh the benefits of a double major against the potential delay in career progression or personal goals.

Furthermore, managing a double major can be challenging due to the demanding schedule. Juggling coursework, assignments, and exams from two different fields can be overwhelming and require excellent time management skills.

Students considering a double major should carefully evaluate their ability to handle the workload and seek support from academic advisors or resources on campus to ensure they can successfully balance their commitments.

Overall, pursuing a double major in graduate school has its advantages and disadvantages. It can provide students with a broader knowledge base, make them stand out to employers, and allow for the combination of complementary fields.

However, it is important to consider the increased financial burden, extra time spent in school, and the potential challenges of managing a demanding schedule. Ultimately, the decision to pursue a double major should be based on individual goals, interests, and resources.

How to Apply and Get Accepted for a Double Major

Research programs and apply separately to each one

When considering a double major in graduate school, it is important to thoroughly research the programs you are interested in. Look for universities or colleges that offer the specific majors you want to pursue. Once you have identified the programs, you will need to apply separately to each one.

Keep in mind that each program may have its own set of requirements and deadlines, so make sure to stay organized and plan ahead.

One helpful tip when researching programs is to check the official websites of the universities or colleges. These websites often provide detailed information about the double major options available, as well as the application process for each program.

For example, you can visit the websites of Harvard University or Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to learn more about their double major offerings and application procedures.

Highlight interdisciplinary interests in statement of purpose

When applying for a double major in graduate school, it is crucial to showcase your passion and interest in both fields. One effective way to do this is by emphasizing your interdisciplinary interests in your statement of purpose.

Explain how the combination of the two majors will enhance your understanding of the subject matter and contribute to your future academic and professional goals.

Additionally, you can discuss any relevant experiences or projects that demonstrate your ability to excel in both majors. Highlighting your ability to integrate knowledge from different disciplines will strengthen your application and show the admissions committee that you are well-suited for a double major.

Get strong recommendation letters supporting both fields

Having strong recommendation letters is essential when applying for a double major in graduate school. Seek out professors or professionals who can speak to your abilities and potential in both fields.

Ideally, these recommendation letters should come from individuals who have witnessed firsthand your dedication, skills, and intellectual curiosity in both areas of study.

When requesting recommendation letters, it is important to provide the individuals with relevant information about your double major plans and explain why their support is crucial. This will help them tailor their letters to highlight your strengths and potential in both fields.

Remember, strong recommendation letters can make a significant impact on your application, so choose your recommenders wisely and make sure they have a good understanding of your double major aspirations.

Tips for Successfully Completing a Double Major

Double majoring in graduate school can be a challenging but rewarding endeavor. It allows students to gain expertise in two different fields and opens up a wider range of career opportunities. However, it requires careful planning and strong time management skills.

Here are some tips to help you successfully complete a double major:

Plan course schedule carefully each semester

When pursuing a double major, it is crucial to plan your course schedule carefully each semester. Meet with your academic advisor to discuss the requirements of both majors and create a plan that ensures you can complete all the necessary courses within the allotted time.

This may involve taking prerequisite courses early on or balancing the workload between the two majors each semester.

Be prepared to take extra credits and summer courses

Completing a double major often requires taking extra credits and summer courses. Be prepared to take on a heavier course load to ensure you can fulfill all the requirements for both majors. This may mean sacrificing some free time or taking courses during the summer to stay on track.

However, the additional effort can pay off by providing you with a well-rounded education and a competitive edge in the job market.

Maintain strong time management and organizational skills

Successfully completing a double major requires strong time management and organizational skills. With a heavier workload, it is important to stay organized and prioritize your tasks effectively. Use a planner or digital calendar to keep track of deadlines, assignments, and exams for both majors.

Break down larger projects into smaller tasks and set realistic goals to ensure you stay on top of your coursework.

Additionally, make sure to allocate time for self-care and relaxation. Burnout is a real concern when pursuing a double major, so it’s important to take breaks and practice self-care to maintain your mental and physical well-being.

Remember, pursuing a double major in graduate school can be challenging, but with careful planning, dedication, and strong time management skills, it is absolutely possible to successfully complete both majors and set yourself up for a rewarding career.

Examples of Common Graduate Double Major Combinations

MBA/MPH (Master of Business Admin & Public Health)

Combining a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Master of Public Health (MPH) can provide individuals with a unique skill set that is highly in demand in today’s healthcare industry. This double major combination allows professionals to develop strong business acumen while also gaining a deep understanding of public health issues and policies.

Graduates with an MBA/MPH dual degree are well-equipped to take on leadership roles in healthcare organizations, government agencies, or non-profit organizations that focus on improving public health outcomes.

MA/MSW (Master of Arts & Social Work)

For those interested in the field of social work, combining a Master of Arts (MA) degree with a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree can open up a wide range of career opportunities. This double major combination allows individuals to gain a deeper understanding of social issues, human behavior, and research methods, while also developing the necessary skills to provide direct support and assistance to individuals and communities in need.

Graduates with an MA/MSW dual degree can pursue careers in social work, counseling, community development, or policy advocacy.

MS/MEng (Master of Science & Engineering)

Combining a Master of Science (MS) degree with a Master of Engineering (MEng) degree is a popular choice for individuals looking to specialize in a specific technical field. This double major combination allows students to gain a strong foundation in both theoretical knowledge and practical skills, preparing them for roles that require a deep understanding of both scientific principles and engineering applications.

Graduates with an MS/MEng dual degree often find employment in industries such as aerospace, telecommunications, renewable energy, or biomedical engineering.

These are just a few examples of common graduate double major combinations. It’s important to note that the availability of double major options may vary depending on the specific graduate programs and universities.

Prospective students should consult with their academic advisors and carefully research the requirements and benefits of each double major combination before making a decision.


While pursuing a graduate school double major requires much planning and hard work, it can be an excellent path for students interested in combining two complementary fields of study. With strategic planning and dedication, double majoring at the graduate level is an achievable goal that can expand your knowledge, skills and career options.

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