double degrees and cross-registration...

<p>I am curious... how feasible is a double degree? say in linguistics (24) and computer science with math (18-C)? Do most people who complete double degrees take five years to do so? Or do they simply take minimal electives? I would very much like to take foreign language classes every term as well. Which leads to the next question? How much of a hassle is cross-registration? I know that Harvard, Wellesley, and MIT schedules, daily and term, are out of joint, but if one lives in the Boston area maybe taking exams for one course over a break isn't a big deal. How common is cross-registration? Are foreign language courses much better at Harvard than they are at MIT? For Mandarin?</p>

<p>cross registration isn't often done, it seems like a hassle because of the travelling and time differences between school.</p>

<p>Double majoring is doable also. I think on average it requires 5 classes a semester. While that may not seem like much more than 4 classes/sem, it can have a real impact on your life/grade. Common double majors are CS and math (6 & 18) and CS and managment (6 & 15). Generally, math/computer science classes have a lot of overlap so it makes double majoring easier. I can't say for 24 and 18, but it's probably doable also.</p>

<p>18 is a common choice for a double b/c many students find themselves taking a number of math classes for their major and then realize that with just a few more, they can finish another. having credit coming in helps, too. cross-registration is admittedly also a hassle, tho i know many wellesley students who do.</p>

<p>If you are dedicated, you can double major. Something like 30% of the class intends to when they get here (hi!). Less than 10% actually end up doing it. It's a lot of work, and many people realize that it's not worth it. Like goddess said, 18 ends up being an "accidental" double major, especially with course 6 since many course 6 classes are course 18 classes in disguise and vice versa. If you do two that overdon't overlap, you'll probably have a good number of 5 course terms and virtually no electives besides your HASSes. </p>

<p>For Linguistics, it looks like you need 11 classes, and for VI-3, you need 180 units, or about 15 classes, plus GIRs (General Institute Requirements). Linguistics will probably count as your HASS concentration, so you'll need another 2 subjects to get the HASS-D requirements (basically, it says you need to take a couple different types of HASSes). So, that's 8 classes freshman year, where you can take care of your HASS-Ds, and then 26 classes over another 6 terms, meaning you'll need to take two terms of 5 classes. Which is not that bad. If you want to take other electives, you can, but you'll need to take it as a 5th class. That actually looks pretty doable. Have fun, if you decide to!</p>

<p>that's good to know. i was actually thinking about doing the same thing, with the same two majors. what confused me at first was the fact that classes can't count as a requirement and as part of the major. but i guess that only applies to certain requirements?</p>

<p>I was 18C and did a HASS concentration in linguistics. The intro linguistics classes that I took (24.900, 24.902, 24.903) don't take up very much time, so it's quite easy to have a 5-class term when you're taking them. Don't get me wrong -- they are great classes and you learn a lot, but they just aren't as time-intensive as most 12 unit classes I've taken.</p>

<p>Of course being a linguistics major will mean a lot more course 24 classes than I took for my HASS concentration! And I'm sure the later classes will be more time-intensive than the ones I took. However, I do think it's much more reasonable to do than most double majors, since 18C has lots of flexibility and few requirements. If I had discovered linguistics my freshman year, rather than as a junior, I might have tried to double major in it (or at least do a minor). It ties in quite well with 18C -- it was definitely a flashback to 6.001 when I took 24.903 (semantics) and it was all about lambda calculus.</p>

<p>First thing I would say is that there is, strictly speaking, there is no such thing as a 'double major' at MIT - that is, to earn a single S.B. with 2 majors. Rather, what is done is the 'double-degree,' which is to earn 2 S.B. degrees simultaneously. I know that colloquially speaking, Techers often speak of double-majoring, when they actually mean double-degree-ing. Yes, I know, that's just semantics, but sometimes semantics are important. </p>

<p>As far as how feasible it is, I think it has to do with motivation and desire. I personally think that anybody at MIT who really wants to be able to get a double-degree should be able to do so. I have to admit I am not entirely sympathetic to the claim that it is "too hard". Consider the graduate MIT LFM students, which are the MIT graduate students who are earning both an MBA from the Sloan School (or optionally an SM in management science) as well as an SM in any of the engineering disciplines -all in 2 years. LFM has been around since 1990, and every single LFM student in the history of the program has managed to complete both master's degrees in the 2 year timeframe. Every single student. </p>

<p>I even heard of a guy who completed both LFM degrees and a master's degree at Harvard all simultaneously, and all in 2 years. Obviously this is a very motivated guy, even for LFM students, who are already quite motivated. </p>

<p>But the point is, if this guy can get 3 master's degrees in 2 years, and 'normal' LFM students can get 2 master's degrees in 2 years, then motivated undergrads should be able to get 2 bachelor's degrees in 4 years. When I see what LFM students are going through, it's hard to sympathize with undergrads who say that it's too hard to get a double-degree.</p>

<p>I double majored in 24-2 (linguistics) and 18c. This is very common for linguistics majors, with many 24-2 majors doubling in 9 (brain and cognitive science) or 18c. It's not really a common double major, but that's only because there are not many linguistics majors. It is very doable, too; I could've graduated having only taken 4 classes per term, if I'd have taken less electives. (I had a decent amount of credit coming in, though.) Although you can count linguistics as your HASS concentration, I think every 24-2 major I knew had a HASS concentration in something else, usually a foreign language. </p>

<p>Cross-registering isn't uncommon, but I think it's too much of a hassle for most people. Unless there is some class that you really want to take that isn't offered at MIT (I knew a decent number of people taking obscure foreign languages at Harvard), it's probably not worth it. I didn't take it myself, but I knew lots of people taking Mandarin at MIT and no one taking it at Harvard, so I assume the classes are quite good.</p>

<p>What about double majors in different engineering disciplines? e.g courses 2 and 6. Is this even possible?</p>

<p>You can double major in whatever two majors you like, but some are easier than others. In general, the engineering majors are the hardest to pair up, since they tend to have differing strict requirements. The one double major I knew in 2 and 6 took more difficult classes per term than a normal MIT student could survive. It's not really recommended if you want to maintain your sanity, but you're welcome to try.</p>

<p>In my opinion, I don't know if it's all that valuable to try to get double-degrees in 2 engineering disciplines. You can do it if you really want to, but it doesn't seem to me that it would be worth it. I think you'd be better off just getting an MEng. For example, instead of double-degreeing in 2 SB's in courses 2 and 6, I would rather just get into the SB/MEng program in course 6 and get both my SB and MEng. It seems to me that getting a bachelor's and a master's degree is better than getting 2 bachelor's degrees.</p>

<p>Nevertheless, if you really really want to get SB degrees in both courses 2 and 6, then knock yourself out.</p>

<p>What about minoring? I'll probably major in 8 or 18, but I'd also like to minor in history (#...?).</p>

<p>I know there isn't any minor in 6, but I have read up on the combined SB/MEng program. The program takes 5 years, correct? So the MEng takes about 3 semesters?</p>

<p>In theory, it takes 5 years, but at MIT, almost everything is negotiable. I know people who have completed the SB/MEng in significantly less than 5 years. </p>

<p>The MEng part of the course 6 SB/MEng program is 2 semesters long, formally speaking. Hence, the MEng is effectively a 1-year add-on to the SB. </p>

<p>History is course 21W.</p>

<p>
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In theory, it takes 5 years, but at MIT, almost everything is negotiable. I know people who have completed the SB/MEng in significantly less than 5 years.

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</p>

<p>Has anyone done it in less than 4 years?</p>

<p>I personally don't know of any, but I don't see why not, particularly if you come in with advanced standing. </p>

<p>I'll put it to you this way. There are (legendary) guys who have gotten their PhD's from MIT in one year. No, that's not one year after their master's, I'm talking about 1 year after their bachelor's. Obviously these are extremely rare and brilliant people. But the point is, it can happen. </p>

<p>Consider the legendary Robert Woodward, Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry for being an pioneer of organic synthesis, including the synthesis of quinine, cholesterol, and chlorophyll. He got his SB in EE from MIT in one year, and then his PhD in EE from MIT the next year. Yeah, that's right, that wasn't a typo - he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for being arguably the most brilliant organic synthetic chemist of his day, and yet his bachelor's and doctoral degrees were in EE. Some people are just too brilliant.</p>

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that's good to know. i was actually thinking about doing the same thing, with the same two majors. what confused me at first was the fact that classes can't count as a requirement and as part of the major. but i guess that only applies to certain requirements?

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<p>There seems to be much confusion on this point around here (and it is confusing, I'll admit). So the deal is that a class can count as a requirement and as part of a major. What it <em>cannot</em> count as is a requirement and part of the 270 units required outside the General Institute Requirements for a double major.</p>

<p>Is it better to do a double degree in 10B and 7, or spend the 4 years getting a master's in 10B? How are double degrees viewed by employers? Would a Master's render you more employable upon graduation, and would a double engineering-science degree leave grad school options open between engineering and a pure science?</p>

<p>Thanks!</p>

<p>Actually, I don't believe you can MEng in course 10. </p>

<p>Anyone out there disagree?</p>

<p>That is correct, there is no MEng program in ChemE.</p>