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    Is it Difficult to Triple Major?

    By Zach Skillings

    Zach Skillings is the Scholarships360 Newsletter Editor. He specializes in college admissions and strives to answer important questions about higher education. When he’s not contributing to Scholarships360, Zach writes about travel, music, film, and culture. His work has been published in Our State Magazine, Ladygunn Magazine, The Nocturnal Times, and The Lexington Dispatch. Zach graduated from Elon University with a degree in Cinema and Television Arts.

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    and Cait Williams

    Cait Williams is a Content Writer at Scholarships360. Cait recently graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Journalism and Strategic Communications. During her time at OU, was active in the outdoor recreation community.

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    Reviewed by Bill Jack

    Bill Jack has over a decade of experience in college admissions and financial aid. Since 2008, he has worked at Colby College, Wesleyan University, University of Maine at Farmington, and Bates College.

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    Edited by Maria Geiger

    Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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    Updated: February 7th, 2024
    Is it Difficult to Triple Major?

    If we had one word to describe triple majoring, we’d probably go with “ambitious.” That’s because triple majoring is an impressive feat that requires a lot of determination and effort. If you’re thinking about pursuing three majors, you may be wondering how difficult it is. That depends on your personal circumstances, but let’s put it this way. Triple majoring certainly isn’t easy

    Learn more: How to pick a major

    What is a triple major? 

    Students who triple major complete the requirements for three separate disciplines and graduate with one bachelor’s degree

    As far as how difficult it is to triple major, that depends on who you ask. Let’s look at a few things that may influence the degree of difficulty for triple majoring:

    Combination of the three areas of focus you choose

    Some majors group together more easily than others. For instance, finance, accounting, and business are all related and share similar course requirements. Meanwhile, you’ll find little course overlap between contrasting fields such as engineering, journalism, and psychology.

    Personal circumstances

    For individuals who can dedicate all their time and resources to college, a triple major will likely be a bit more feasible. If, however, you need to work full or part time while in school or have to deal with long commutes to and from campus, a triple major may become that much harder. Take an honest look at your personal circumstances. A triple major may not be feasible right now, but it may be in the future. 

    How quickly you intend to graduate

    If you are dead set on graduating in four years, you may be out of luck. While graduating in four years with a triple major is possible, it is a very intense option. Your course load will likely be at its maximum every semester and will certainly cause you to need to attend summer courses as well. A five year timeline may be more realistic.  

    Regardless of what you study, though, triple majoring is a big commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. While we can’t tell you exactly how difficult it is to triple major, what we can do is give you some perspective. Read on to learn about the benefits of double majoring, along with factors that you should consider before taking on this commitment. 

    Related: What is a liberal arts degree?

    Why should I triple major?

    Increase your job opportunities

    In today’s world, jobs are increasingly becoming multidisciplinary. Employers value well-rounded employees with a variety of skills and strengths. On paper, a college graduate with three majors is a much more competitive applicant than someone with just one major. 

    You’ll likely gain an even greater edge if you pair a STEM degree with a major in the arts, humanities, or business. Not to mention, you can set yourself up for jobs in different industries. Say that you’re not sure about the type of career you’d like to pursue after graduation. Majoring in multiple fields of study allows you to keep your options open. 

    Learn more: What is the average starting salary out of college?

    Explore different interests 

    Triple majors are well-suited for students who have multiple interests and passions. The beautiful thing about triple majoring is that you can explore subjects that are entirely different from each other. Maybe you’d like to study computer science, but you also have a passion for creative writing and psychology. By triple majoring, you don’t have to sacrifice any of these interests. If you have a love of learning that spans various fields of study, then a triple major may be right for you. 

    Get your money’s worth

    College isn’t cheap, so some students choose to get the most bang for their buck by triple majoring. If we’re talking strictly about academics, then triple majoring is definitely the most effective use of your tuition. But some students find that getting involved in extracurricular activities and other pursuits is a more effective use of their time and money. 

    Factors to keep in mind 

    Careful planning is required

    Planning a triple major is almost like a science. Since you’ll be facing triple the course requirements, you’ll need a detailed plan of attack to fulfill all your credits. To maximize your efforts, pay close attention to the courses you can take that overlap between majors. Majors in the same discipline will have more overlap than majors in disparate fields. 

    As far as timing, most students make the decision to triple major pretty early in their college career. If you wait until your second or third year to take on additional majors, you might not have enough time to complete all your required courses. Keep in mind that some schools require you to get permission from each department before pursuing your triple major. 

    Don’t miss: Scholarships360 Guide to College Majors

    Limited opportunities for electives

    If you triple major, don’t expect to have time to take intriguing electives outside your field of study. Your major requirements will take up most (if not all) of your course load. So if you’re looking to take that guitar class or dance class that seems interesting, you might be out of luck. 

    Discourages socialization

    In addition to dominating your academic schedule, triple majoring can take away time from your social life as well. Academically speaking, you’re going to have a lot on your plate. This means you’ll probably have much less time to devote to extracurricular activities and spending time with friends. Be prepared for times when you’ll have to study for an exam or work on a project while your friends are out enjoying themselves. 

    Could result in late graduation 

    Because triple majoring is so demanding, some students find it difficult to graduate within four years. Needless to say, more time in college means more tuition out of your pocket. As we’ve mentioned, careful planning is required to ensure you graduate on time. But even if you craft a meticulous four year plan, you could still come across bumps in the road that extend your time in school. We promise we’re not trying to discourage you; we just want you to know what you’re signing up for. 

    Is triple majoring worth it?

    There’s no denying that triple majors can be quite demanding. You’ll be required to take on more work than the average student, and you’ll have to make sacrifices along the way. But if you’re up for the task, triple majoring can be very rewarding. Not only will you get a chance to explore various subjects, but you’ll also enter the job market as a competitive applicant. Just remember to not bite off more than you can chew!

    Double majoring

    If triple majoring sounds too overwhelming, remember that double majoring is always an option. It requires the same thought that a triple major does, but with a slightly less overwhelming course load. And of course, there’s certainly nothing wrong with sticking to one major either. However, don’t be afraid to take on a triple major if you think it’s the right path for you. 

    Key Takeaways

    Key Takeaways

    • Triple majoring is a feasible option for students who are looking to expand themselves academically and increase their job outlook
    • Evaluate how prepared you are to take on a triple major before making any for sure commitments
    • Take time to thoroughly examine how much the three majors you intend to study overlap and how long it should realistically take you to graduate
    • If triple majoring is too much, double majoring is always a great option that is just as admirable
    Key Takeaways

    Frequently asked questions about triple majoring

    How common is a triple major?

    The number of students who complete a triple major each year is quite low. A triple major is a lot of work and typically requires the approval of each department you are majoring in. However, just because it is common does not mean it should affect your ultimate decision.

    Can you triple major in four years?

    Triple majoring within four years can be quite challenging. A triple major with three majors that overlap will likely be much easier to complete within four years, versus three majors that are not very related. If your goal is to graduate within four years while triple majoring, you should stick to majors that are closely related. If you are open to expanding your time in college, you will have some more wiggle room to explore majors that aren’t so closely related.

    What is the rarest major?

    Because new disciplines and careers are emerging all the time, the rarity of degrees change over time. Rare degrees are typically very niche, meaning they cover a highly specific specialty in their field. A biomimicry degree at Arizona State University is a great example of a rare degree that is currently one of the first of its kind.

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