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Double Major in Biology and English Options ▼
jeffyh
#1 Posted : Friday, January 28, 2011 1:28:59 PM
Rank: Frosh


Joined: 1/19/2011
Posts: 14
I am highly interested in both Biology and English, so the idea of a double major definitely intrigues me. Due to the contrasting nature of these two areas, would taking on a double major be too difficult? I've applied to McGill BA&Sc, so I would be able to complete a double major relatively easily there, but would this still be doable at other universities that don't offer Bachelor of Arts & Science programs? (I know its possible, but would the workload be overly demanding?)

I'm interested in pursuing medicine, but if that doesn't work out, I'm thinking law or teaching.
jsaroya
#2 Posted : Saturday, February 12, 2011 4:28:59 PM
Rank: Grand Poobah


Joined: 3/3/2010
Posts: 21,551
It would probably take you 5 years versus the standard 4 years because Bio/English don't really overlap. It would work, though. I'm thinking of doing something similar myself.
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University of Toronto: Social Sciences + Vic One (Pearson Stream)
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littleroom
#3 Posted : Saturday, February 12, 2011 5:00:01 PM
Rank: Valedictorian


Joined: 12/20/2010
Posts: 597
You could also become a Science Journalist.
Nyx
#4 Posted : Saturday, February 12, 2011 5:48:05 PM
Rank: Valedictorian




Joined: 12/13/2010
Posts: 681
jsaroya wrote:
It would probably take you 5 years versus the standard 4 years because Bio/English don't really overlap. It would work, though. I'm thinking of doing something similar myself.

Do you really think so? I was thinking of doing the same with Bio/history.. there is a tiny bit of overlap.. biology through the ages kind of stuff.
Perpetually hungry.
mynameismattgotmlgo
#5 Posted : Saturday, February 12, 2011 5:57:23 PM
Rank: Student Body President


Joined: 12/22/2010
Posts: 2,076
You could definitely complete a double major in four years. Just as an FYI, completing a double major in two similar areas (e.g. biology and biochemistry) would have the same number of required courses as a double major in two different disciplines. For every course that overlaps between two majors, you have to take another course in one of the disciplines you're majoring. e.g. let's say Biology XXX is required for both the biology major and the biochemistry major, you would only be able to count it towards the required coursework of one major (either bio or biochem, it's your choice) and then you'd have to take another course in either bio or biochem (whichever one you decided not to count Biology XXX towards) to replace that required course.

You could also do a major-minor combination, a specialization-minor combination, or just take lots of electives in your area of secondary interest.
BMSc Honours Specialization in Medical Science, Minor in Psychology, UWO '09
Bachelor of Pharmacy, University of Alberta '13 - Drop out as of '11
University Certificate in Finance, Athabasca University '12
Power Engineering Certificate, NAIT '14
jsaroya
#6 Posted : Saturday, February 12, 2011 6:11:15 PM
Rank: Grand Poobah


Joined: 3/3/2010
Posts: 21,551
mynameismattgotmlgo wrote:
You could definitely complete a double major in four years. Just as an FYI, completing a double major in two similar areas (e.g. biology and biochemistry) would have the same number of required courses as a double major in two different disciplines. For every course that overlaps between two majors, you have to take another course in one of the disciplines you're majoring. e.g. let's say Biology XXX is required for both the biology major and the biochemistry major, you would only be able to count it towards the required coursework of one major (either bio or biochem, it's your choice) and then you'd have to take another course in either bio or biochem (whichever one you decided not to count Biology XXX towards) to replace that required course.

You could also do a major-minor combination, a specialization-minor combination, or just take lots of electives in your area of secondary interest.


When you say "you could definitely complete a double major in four years", do you mean a double degree (BA and BSc)? B
**Shields**
Accepted:
University of Toronto: Social Sciences + Vic One (Pearson Stream)
Carleton University: Honours Science
University of British Columbia: Arts
inthemaking
#7 Posted : Saturday, February 12, 2011 6:23:56 PM
Rank: Student Body President


Joined: 12/13/2010
Posts: 1,197
That would be pretty cool, it would show med schools that you're well rounded.

You probably could complete it in 4 years but you may have to overload (ie. take more than 5 courses/sem) or take summer school to complete the required credits in time.
McMaster Bachelor of Health Sciences 2011
U of Guelph-OVC Doctor of Veterinary Medicine 2015
mynameismattgotmlgo
#8 Posted : Saturday, February 12, 2011 6:37:35 PM
Rank: Student Body President


Joined: 12/22/2010
Posts: 2,076
jsaroya wrote:
When you say "you could definitely complete a double major in four years", do you mean a double degree (BA and BSc)? B


A double degree and double major are two different things. What I said and what I meant was double major.

^ Not really. A major typically requires 6.0 upper-year (second year and up) full course equivalents (FCEs). A double major, therefore, requires 12.0 FCEs. With 5.0 FCEs a year (i.e. normal courseload), you take 15.0 FCEs in your upper three years. This means you'd still have 3.0 FCEs available for electives and to meet breadth requirements.

And besides, there's really no reason to double major. A major-minor is just as good. I was able to do a specialization-minor without much issue, and I switched my plans twice. If you've got your plans figured out in first year, then it should be no problem to pull off a double major in four years.
BMSc Honours Specialization in Medical Science, Minor in Psychology, UWO '09
Bachelor of Pharmacy, University of Alberta '13 - Drop out as of '11
University Certificate in Finance, Athabasca University '12
Power Engineering Certificate, NAIT '14
kyleigh711
#9 Posted : Sunday, February 13, 2011 6:53:45 PM
Rank: Senior Student


Joined: 1/11/2011
Posts: 90
mynameismattgotmlgo wrote:
jsaroya wrote:
When you say "you could definitely complete a double major in four years", do you mean a double degree (BA and BSc)? B


A double degree and double major are two different things. What I said and what I meant was double major.

^ Not really. A major typically requires 6.0 upper-year (second year and up) full course equivalents (FCEs). A double major, therefore, requires 12.0 FCEs. With 5.0 FCEs a year (i.e. normal courseload), you take 15.0 FCEs in your upper three years. This means you'd still have 3.0 FCEs available for electives and to meet breadth requirements.

And besides, there's really no reason to double major. A major-minor is just as good. I was able to do a specialization-minor without much issue, and I switched my plans twice. If you've got your plans figured out in first year, then it should be no problem to pull off a double major in four years.


Actually a double major IS different from a double degree. One gives you one degree and the other gives you two. The requirements are usually also different between the two.

In a BA&Sc at McGill you are supposed to do a major in each. However, this is still possible at many other schools too, especially ones with Faculties of arts and science. Check out the website for the specific schools you are interested in and if you're still not sure, try calling the schools to ask questions :)
mynameismattgotmlgo
#10 Posted : Sunday, February 13, 2011 7:02:54 PM
Rank: Student Body President


Joined: 12/22/2010
Posts: 2,076
kyleigh711 wrote:
Actually a double major IS different from a double degree. One gives you one degree and the other gives you two. The requirements are usually also different between the two.


OK... That's an odd way of agreeing with what I said. In the future, to avoid confusion, I suggest just saying something like, "I agree."

(Read my post again)
BMSc Honours Specialization in Medical Science, Minor in Psychology, UWO '09
Bachelor of Pharmacy, University of Alberta '13 - Drop out as of '11
University Certificate in Finance, Athabasca University '12
Power Engineering Certificate, NAIT '14
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