Improve TU #5: Cross-count courses for double majors

Double majors have enough difficulty meeting their graduation requirements without taking extra, arbitrary classes.

A frustrating issue that needs to be addressed in our Improve TU section is being able to double up on credits, or more accurately not being able to. It’s been historically difficult for double majors to gather all their credits at TU.

Take my situation for an example. As a double major in English and Creative Writing, my Intro to Creative Writing course can only count toward one major or the other. If I count it toward my English major, I’ve completed my Block I but I need a different course to complete that requirement for my Creative Writing major. If I count it toward the CW major, I need a different course to complete my Block I for my English major.

On a certain line of thinking, this makes some sense. You need a certain amount of credit hours to get a degree, plain and simple. It stands to reason that to get two degrees, you would need that amount of credit hours times two. That makes sense in theory.

In practice, however, its sensibility starts to break down. There are many courses, all across each of the degree plans at the university, that can count toward multiple degrees. If you find a course that can count toward both of your majors, then it should be allowed to count for both of your majors. It’s a skill/subject you’ve studied that is applicable in both cases; there’s no real reason it shouldn’t be able to count for both.

A large problem this ends up posing is the issue I mentioned at the beginning of the article: double majors often have trouble getting all their credits by the end of their time at TU. For some people this isn’t that big of a problem; they can just take another semester or two. For others, particularly those heavily dependent on financial aid, a ninth or tenth semester just isn’t financially viable. The university alleviates this by offering summer courses, but these are uncovered by most financial aid, and the courses are free only for freshmen and sophomores, who don’t always have the most concrete plans for their futures and the courses they should be taking.

TU is a small university and, as such, has a small faculty. It’s a common issue in the College of Arts & Sciences that required classes — classes that one could take to finally finish their degree — just aren’t offered in the crucial semester. Planning in this college is more specific and difficult than it should be, and double majors feel the brunt of this difficulty. The university simply doesn’t offer enough courses for double majors to afford their credits not applying to both degrees.

Post Author: Ethan Veenker