White woman in red glasses, thought bubbles on chalkboard with 4 college majors

Considering a Double Major? Popular Options and Top Benefits

Double-majoring in college can be tough, but there are a lot of benefits. Here's what to know about this academic option and common majors to pair.

Making the decision to double-major isn’t simple. A double major is a college degree program where students choose to study two different academic subjects as one combined areas of focus. There are many things to think about when deciding to double-major, particularly if you're considering two very different disciplines. You should ask yourself two questions: How would your double major function, and is it a good idea for you? This path can be a great way to combine two areas of interest and gain a well-rounded education, and there are many majors that can be paired to create a path of study that’s well suited to your interests and career goals.

What’s the difference between a double major and a dual degree?

Another important thing to consider before you forge ahead is the difference between double-majoring and pursuing a dual degree. Double majors are often granted within the same department or school. For instance, if you major in both Business and Economics, you’ll likely receive a single Bachelor of Science degree for your two areas of study. A dual degree is kind of like a double major, but with a dual degree, you obtain two distinct degrees such as a BA and a BS, as opposed to one degree for two fields of study. Programs that combine two degrees often take five or six years to complete, while you can still graduate in four years with a double major. 

Related: How to Know if a Nontraditional Major Path Is Right for You

Examples of compatible double major pairings

There are many popular fields that can be paired to create a double major that’s tailored to your future goals. Here are just a few classic combinations:

  • Business and Economics: A student who majors in Business may choose to pair it with a major in Economics. This combination provides a strong foundation in business principles and an understanding of economic theories and concepts. It’s a good fit for a student interested in a career in finance or consulting.
  • Engineering and Computer Science: This double major provides students with a strong technical foundation and the skills to design and build complex systems. This combination is a good fit for those interested in a career in technology or engineering.
  • Psychology and Education: A student majoring in Psychology may choose to pair their degree with a major in Education, creating an academic path that could lead to a career in school counseling or educational psychology.
  • Political Science and International Relations: If you’re thinking of pursuing Political Science, consider pairing it with a major in International Relations. This combo is good for students interested in a career in diplomacy or foreign policy.
  • Biology and Chemistry: Biology majors could pair their degree with a major in Chemistry to prepare for a career in research or pharmaceuticals.

Related: College Options for Students With Multiple Major Interests

Is there a “right” combination? 

It’s important to note that the second major you choose to pair with your first chosen field of study does not have to completely complement it. If you choose to major in Chemistry and are also interested in Graphic Design or Art, it won’t drag you down in any way. If you’re willing to complete the coursework for both of these passions, the end result doesn’t really matter because you’re doing what you enjoy. 

Benefits of declaring a double major

There are many benefits of double-majoring—the biggest one being an increase in job opportunities. A study published by the Cambridge University Press showed that students who double-major in Business and a STEM field typically earn more than those with only one major. But the combination doesn’t have to be constricted to just Business and STEM; any two majors doubles the potential of your career search. You’ll also receive a more well-rounded education—obtaining a unique set of skills, viewpoints, and ideas you’ll be able to apply in your professional and personal life. 

Related: Top 6 Pros and Cons of Double-Majoring in College

Overall, a double major can be a great way for a college student to have a well-rounded academic experience and prepare for a successful career. By carefully choosing two majors that work for you as a student, you can gain a unique set of skills and knowledge to set yourself apart in the job market.

Need help deciding on a major in general? You can find a ton of advice in our Majors and Academics section under the subsection “How to Choose a Major.”

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now


About Nivashini Saravanakumar

Nivashini Saravanakumar is a high school student with an interest in biomedical engineering. She loves to read, and her favorite book (as of right now) is My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Moshfegh. She also loves playing instruments including the piano and violin!


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress


High School Class of 2019

CollegeXpress has helped me by opening my eyes to new opportunities. I learned about such easy ways to get financial help to achieve my dreams while also learning about myself and who I truly am. I know this isn't a very long explanation of what CollegeXpress has done for me, but nonetheless, I believe it's crucial to how I developed as a person throughout my time as a college student.



High School Class of 2022

My mother signed me up for a couple of scholarship contests through CollegeXpress. I was also able to do some research and compare the different schools on my list. I was able to see the graduation rates and different programs that helped me decide on Adelphi University. I will continue looking for some scholarships for my start in September.

Laura Wallace

Laura Wallace

High School Class of 2019

My favorite part of CollegeXpress is that it features student writers so I get an inside perspective from students slightly older and farther along than me. I realize that other college websites also utilize student writers; however, I relate the most to the college writers that I read articles from on CollegeXpress.

Rhiannon Teeter

Rhiannon Teeter

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2012

I have spent a lot of time aggressively searching for scholarships. It was a long and frustrating process until I found the CollegeXpress network. This site made my search so much easier. With the simple check of a few boxes, the site sorted out scholarships I was eligible for and led me directly to the correct websites. Winning this scholarship has definitely given me and my family some financial relief, and CollegeXpress has allowed me to improve my chances of winning further financial aid. Thank you so much!

Rayan Hamdan

Rayan Hamdan

High School Student

I joined CollegeXpress just a few months ago. I had been struggling with severe anxiety, causing me to not be able to tour schools and make sure a college would be perfect for me. I came across CollegeXpress one day when I was searching for colleges online, and it completely changed the game. I was easily able to choose colleges that would suit me, and I also entered a few giveaways! Thank you so much!

College Matches

Colleges You May Be Interested In

University of Missouri

Columbia, MO

Hofstra University

Hempstead, NY

University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA