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Double major or double minor for MPP/MPA preparation?

prettykeekoprettykeeko Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
Hello! I hope this is the appropriate forum to be asking about this, but I wanted to get advice from folks who are attending and/or went to graduate school (especially if you are/have been in a master's program for either Public Policy or Public Administration).

I'm currently a first-year undergraduate at UC Berkeley and I am majoring in Ethnic Studies. I am on track to graduate early in 3 years because I was a dual-enrolled student during high school, so I completed nearly all of my college GEs. Since I can already get started in my major courses, I have a large amount of time to also double up on my credentials. Initially, I planned on double majoring with Political Science, but I'm also interested in minoring in Public Policy and Political Economy instead of double majoring.

I believe the courses I will take for the double minor in PP and PE will not only give me a better idea about going to graduate school for public policy, but also it will be better prep. However, I'm concerned if my plans for grad school will fall out (whether it be I don't get accepted to the schools I apply for, my GRE exam score is too low, I lose interest when I get closer to graduation, etc). If they do fall out, I'm thinking a double major would be better for career options than a double minor right after graduation since a double major is looked more positively upon and shows I have committed to both majors.

Not too sure what to do. As of right now, I do believe I'm going to go to grad school because first, I want to learn more about public policy and advance my education, and second, my interests/passions/goals lie behind fields that aren't popular and demanding and I believe a master's can help me find a job that will provide more financial stability than my social sciences bachelor's degree alone. But, I do want to be prepared in case my goals/motivation change over the course of time.

Any feedback is appreciated! I have to make my decision before it's time for Fall 2018 enrollment, so please help :)

Replies to: Double major or double minor for MPP/MPA preparation?

  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 12,493 Super Moderator
    If they do fall out, I'm thinking a double major would be better for career options than a double minor right after graduation since a double major is looked more positively upon and shows I have committed to both majors.

    No, it's not. Employers don't care that you've double majored unless the double major has some kind of bearing on the work you'll be doing (e.g., a math and computer science double major going for a data science job). And even then, an employer won't necessarily pick a double major over someone else who also has the right preparation but didn't double major. It doesn't show that you're more dedicated or committed or anything like that.

    Pick what you are actually interested in pursuing. A double major in political science and ethnic studies doesn't necessarily make you more marketable/prepared for jobs than a major in ethnic studies with minors in public policy and political economy. If you are interested in public policy, why not double major or minor in that?
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