Triple major?

<p>Hey, I am a junior in high school and I was wondering whether or not it would be possible that, when I go to college, I could declare three separate majors. The subjects in question are physics, mathematics, and obviously philosophy. It might help in the replies if I specified that I am planning on going to Stanford University. The other idea that I was contemplating was that of double majoring philosophy and math while minoring in physics. The only problem with that is simply the fact that I LOVE these three subjects and minoring in one of them would mean that I could only spend time with half of one. Such passion, I feel. Please HELP!!!!!!!!!!</p>

<p>It really depends on the university; I doubt that Stanford would let you do such a thing, maybe a double major instead.</p>

<p>What's your career plan? Really your major should have to do with that. Anything else, such as your interests, should only be minors unless you get special permission to do a double(+) major.</p>

<p>Generally tripple majors will not be allowed. You should also be aware that they are virtually impossible to do. For example, your physics and math double is a possibility particularly because the majors have overlapping courses but even then you are potentially adding a semester to a four college program. Add philosophy which has its own requirements unrelated to math or physics and you would add another year or more before getting out. Colleges will allow double majors but they are also smart enough to know that having multiple majors does not really add any advantage when seeking employment after college and if someone says he wants to do three majors, they know that really leads to just being a professional student rather than getting the student to graduation.</p>

<p>Oh you really haven't suffered yet at college have you? "Triple major" sounds fine in your head... when the deafening amount of work that will be required is just an abstraction, a simple adversity to be overcome by hard work. It's nice to make plans, but making unrealistic goals will only deepen a sense of disappointment when you realize 1). you'll never have enough time 2). you're not as smart as you thought you were to excel at three majors while others just as smart as you are are focusing all their attention on finishing one 3). that you actually want to have friends or dates sometime in the next 6 to 8 years. </p>

<p>Also, you never "plan" on going to Stanford, you apply to Stanford and "hope" to be accepted.</p>

<p>I want to become a professor. Professors spend time researching, a lot of time researching; they also teach students the fundamental concepts of their subject(s). In more idealistic terms, professors continuously try to understand things about the natural world and their findings,the new so-called "fundamental concepts," through time, will be taught to students. I don't care how long it takes me to do something that I greatly enjoy if it means that I will be able to further the understanding of certain things, which might seem less than important. </p>

<p>Physics and math guide the universe. Philosophy allows us to understand the universe in metaphysical terms with everything else that embodies it, philosophy that is, ie ethics, logic, political philosophy, epistemology, etc.</p>

<p>PhilosopherKing,</p>

<p>You say you want to be a professor. So you'll have to pick one of the three disciplines for graduate school, and that decision will likely need to be made before your senior year of college, particularly since an undergraduate research experience in your discipline is highly desirable if you want to enter a PhD program.</p>

<p>But double majors are not actually all that rare, by the way. The gen ed structure and culture of some colleges (including many LACs) actually encourage strong students with multiple interests to declare a second major. But some colleges (including some LACs and most engineering schools) have graduation requirements that include an in-depth senior project/paper of some sort for each major, and this kind of requirement can make it very difficult to complete a double major, particularly in fields that are not closely related.</p>

<p>There are some places --- mainly LACs --- that will allow some students to triple major. But completing a triple major on time requires a great deal of planning and luck: You need to know when you have to take which courses and you have to be lucky enough that the required courses are offered at exactly the time you need to take them.</p>

<p>You also need to be aware of whether any or all of the majors require some kind of intense, senior-year capstone experience or thesis, even if the college doesn't require such an experience. And you also have to work all the major requirements around the college's general education requirements. Some colleges have more generous policies about using AP/IB credits to fulfill gen eds. Some colleges are more lenient in allowing a particular gen ed course to count towards two or three different general education requirements. These kinds of policies strongly influence whether it is easy, reasonable, or nearly impossible to double major, let alone triple major. So you'll need to look at each potential college's requirements to determine if double majoring (or triple majoring) is feasible.</p>

<p>At many places, double majoring in math and physics is not that difficult since the physics majors usually need to take a significant number of math courses that count towards the math major. Adding philosophy on top of a math-physics double major may or may not be easy---it depends on how many courses the philosophy major requires and how many courses you need to complete to finish all the general education requirements.</p>

<p>My advice is to take the required and recommended majors courses in all three subjects your freshmen and sophomore years---even if it means putting off some of the other gen ed requirements and making a formal decision about what (and how many) major(s) to declare when you are a second semester sophomore. Make sure your academic adviser knows that you're thinking of majoring in all three subjects right from the first meeting, too, so that he/she can better advise you about what courses you absolutely must take during your first two years in order to keep open the possibility of majoring in any one of the three subjects.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>The three subject areas definitely complement each other, so you should be able to use some of your courses to fulfill the requirements in more than one major. However, if you would like to graduate in less than 6 years, I would highly recommend pursuing one of them as a minor. </p>

<p>Talk to current Stanford students and email a professor or advisor. They should be able to give you the best advice on what to do. Besides, you usually don't have to declare your major(s) until sophomore year, so you still have 3 years to decide.</p>

<p>While I admire your zeal, have you actually thought this through, I mean other than the intellectual stimulation part, parts as in, how long will this take, how much money it will take to stay in college that long(student loans add up quickly and a professorship might not pay well), whether it is actually feasible logistically at whichever school you attend (and no, don't "Plan" on going to Stanford), whether you will have time to eat, have any kind of a social life, remember anything about college other than classes, etc.</p>

<p>There is little practical value to a triple major, but that isn't your main concern, definitely think this through some more, remember, having the degree doesn't necessarily mean you know more about the subject, these seem to be lifelong passions, which means you are pursuing them LIFELONG, there shouldn't be a problem with pursuing one more in depth in college and another later in life. You don't NEED the major to study any of these.</p>

<p>PhilosopherKing,</p>

<p>You say you want to be a professor. So you'll have to pick one of the three disciplines for graduate school, and that decision will likely need to be made before your senior year of college, particularly since an undergraduate research experience in your discipline is highly desirable if you want to enter a PhD program.</p>

<p>But double majors are not actually all that rare, by the way. The gen ed structure and culture of some colleges (including many LACs) actually encourage strong students with multiple interests to declare a second major. But some colleges (including some LACs and most engineering schools) have graduation requirements that include an in-depth senior project/paper of some sort for each major, and this kind of requirement can make it very difficult to complete a double major, particularly in fields that are not closely related.</p>

<p>There are some places --- mainly LACs --- that will allow some students to triple major. But completing a triple major on time requires a great deal of planning and luck: You need to know when you have to take which courses and you have to be lucky enough that the required courses are offered at exactly the time you need to take them.</p>

<p>You also need to be aware of whether any or all of the majors require some kind of intense, senior-year capstone experience or thesis, even if the college doesn't require such an experience. And you also have to work all the major requirements around the college's general education requirements. Some colleges have more generous policies about using AP/IB credits to fulfill gen eds. Some colleges are more lenient in allowing a particular gen ed course to count towards two or three different general education requirements. These kinds of policies strongly influence whether it is easy, reasonable, or nearly impossible to double major, let alone triple major. So you'll need to look at each potential college's requirements to determine if double majoring (or triple majoring) is feasible.</p>

<p>At many places, double majoring in math and physics is not that difficult since the physics majors usually need to take a significant number of math courses that count towards the math major. Adding philosophy on top of a math-physics double major may or may not be easy---it depends on how many courses the philosophy major requires and how many courses you need to complete to finish all the general education requirements.</p>

<p>My advice is to take the required and recommended majors courses in all three subjects your freshmen and sophomore years---even if it means putting off some of the other gen ed requirements and making a formal decision about what (and how many) major(s) to declare when you are a second semester sophomore. Make sure your academic adviser knows that you're thinking of majoring in all three subjects right from the first meeting, too, so that he/she can better advise you about what courses you absolutely must take during your first two years.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>Also, having a triple major will prob not be much more impressive than a double major to a future employer.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Also, you never "plan" on going to Stanford, you apply to Stanford and "hope" to be accepted.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Remember this. Absorb this.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Also, having a triple major will prob not be much more impressive than a double major to a future employer.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Even a double major doesn't reveal much about a candidate other than their ability to grind. The best thing you can do for yourself in college (barring the rare student who actually has deep, substantial interests in disparate subjects and the time management skills to delve into both) is to declare one major and impress professors in that major. As Cal Newport (check out his blog) would say, "Become an A* student." (Dartmouth, his alma mater, gives A*'s to students who are truly remarkable.) </p>

<p>This may happen organically--as in, maybe there's a really phenomenal math professor whose courses you can't get enough of. It makes sense for you to take that professor's classes and declare a math major. But you should be aware that to pursue graduate work, you need to really impress people in that field. Why would they care about your triple major or the all-nighters you pulled? They wouldn't; it's not relevant. So save yourself sleepless nights and the feeling of being perpetually overextended and allow yourself to declare one major (or two, in a case where the two are very similar, as in math and physics).</p>

<p>To some of you who have wondered whether or not I have thought this through, I can assure you that I think about these things at a nearly relentless, persistent level that any more thought that might be put in would require a stait jacket. I think I have decided that I will probably just double major in Physics and Math, while possibly minoring in Philosophy, or just study that on my own. We all should be aware that philosophy is not a subject that you can just learn through lectures, but develops through a life experience. I appreciate the replies and I thank all of you for devoting your time, which I will assume is very precious, to a worried and concerned Junior.</p>

<p>Thank You</p>

<p>^like. you sound very mature. but unfortunately you only have one lifetime...
Im stuck between med school, law school, or a doctorate in genetic engineering. And I love all 3 areas and wish i could do all 3...</p>