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Graduate early or triple-major?

Morgan LMorgan L Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
I am currently a sophomore in college and I am double-majoring in Environmental Science and Geography with a minor in Environmental Sustainability. I will also be earning my certificate in GIS/Geographic Information Systems. I am on track to graduate a year early, however, I was wondering if I should add Geology on as a third major and finish up in a normal four years? If I choose to graduate early, I will head to graduate school and presumably get my masters in Sustainable Management.

My dilemma is that I am attending college on a full-ride scholarship and have a certain amount of free credits. I came into college with some dual credits so if I graduated early, I would still have enough left over for about another semester. I would hate to waste those credits by graduating early, but I can see the pros and cons of both adding a third major and graduating early and pursuing grad school.

Summary of pros and cons:
- I could start grad school and year early and be closer to getting into the workforce
- I would potentially waste a semester of free credit hours
- I would potentially have to pay for a semester of college if I added a third major
- If I graduated early, I would miss out on obtaining a third degree that I have great interest in

Another thing I considered is that you can get a masters degree in just about anything. I could always get another masters later, but that would be expensive and I can't guarantee that I would meet all qualifications to be accepted into the program if I am lacking the necessary physics needed, etc. Additionally, I'm not sure an extra masters degree would lead to an extra pay-raise so it wouldn't be more beneficial than a bachelors other than being more specialized and prestigious.

I am stuck on this and can not decide and need the opinions from others. What would you do?

ps- I'm not worried about missing out on the college experience because my school is a big biology and professional programs school so the "college atmosphere" is lacking.

Replies to: Graduate early or triple-major?

  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 11,486 Super Moderator
    I know that environmental science, geography, and geology are all distinct fields. But they are also very highly related fields, so I frankly don't see the utility in adding on a third major that is closely related to the first two.

    I think it depends a lot on your career goals. The advantage of geology is adding a earth sciences/physical sciences bent to your studies, potentially opening up some graduate study paths that would be closed to you without that coursework. Of course, you don't have to major in it to get the prerequisite coursework, but still. Do you think that you might want to explore that in your eventual graduate studies?

    The other thing is just pure interest. Sometimes in college we do things not because they will be super useful but just because they are interesting. Are you really passionate about geology? Would you be interested in the classes?

    The thing is these also aren't your only two options. You could take extra coursework and maybe stay one extra semester, graduating in December; you could stay an additional year but just take some curated coursework that teaches you extra skills, like advanced statistical analysis to pair up with the GIS, or computer programming, or technical writing, or learning a language; you could use a semester to study abroad and study environmental science in another region or country with specific issues interesting to you. (There are lots of environmental sciences/earth sciences related study abroad programs now.)

    The extra summer may also be useful for internships or pursuing other interests, like a research project.

    Don't rush to get into the workforce - it'll be there for years. The extra year of working won't necessarily matter that much in the long run, but an extra year of study may be super personally enriching for you. Think, instead, about what you stand to gain from staying for four years versus three.
  • Morgan LMorgan L Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Furthermore, I would like to add that I have already had two very different internships, one with the Soil and Water Conservation Department and the other with Clean Cities. I also plan on applying for more regardless of my decision on graduation. I am also planning to study abroad this Spring in the Bahamas and possible Morocco in the summer, so I would not be missing out on those opportunities.
  • xraymancsxraymancs College Rep Posts: 4,215 Senior Member
    If you have an extra year available and you are only a sophomore, consider the possibility of getting a Masters degree at your current university instead of a second BS. Certainly that will improve your salary prospects when you get into the workforce and it is likely to be covered by your scholarship.
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