Can You Dual Degree?

Can You Dual Degree?

It's not for the weak-hearted.

Dual degrees, otherwise known as combined, conjoint, or joint degree programs, are more common in other countries than in America. However, that does not mean that they do not exist in the United State. In the past recent years, many students have been showing an interest and demand for joint degree programs. The allure of an earlier graduation and getting two degrees, too strong to ignore for aspiring academics.

However, what is a dual degree?

A dual degree is formed from the collaboration of two academic institutes who have agreed on an articulation program which a student would abide with in order to move from one school to another. Typically, the two degrees can either belong to the same field or be from two completely different areas; all that matters is that they are complimentary to one another. A dual degree, after all, is for those who desire an edge in this competitive professional world.

Note: It is completely different from double majoring because a dual degree has the student alternate between two institutions who are specialized in only one field of the two he or she are pursuing.

So is a dual degree for you?


You get to get two degrees. In today’s competitive job market, two degrees can give you a solid advantage over others. The more complimentary they are to your desired career field, the better.

It saves you time. As a joint degree student, myself, I can personally speak for biology majors as an example. Typically, pursuing a general biology major means you will be aiming to go straight into graduate or medical school to further your career and specialize in something. Graduating as just a general major with no specialization in anything, automatically demands a few more extra years of schooling in order to seem more suitable and marketable in the professional field you are aiming for. Those who want to do lab or maybe even work in forensics, for example, will have to take a few more classes to be better job candidates. A dual degree gives you specialization.

You jump into your field faster. With a dual degree, your general education and prerequisite classes are either finished in your first year and-a-half of your college career, enabling you a quicker start into more advanced studies that dabble in actual professional-related work.

It gives you flexibility, skill-set wise. By pursuing a dual degree, you can have an alternate set of skill sets to fall back on just in case the end goal isn’t as tangible as you would hope it to be. With a joint degree, you can eventually just choose one to focus in if the other drifts from your spectrum of interests.


The workload is unforgiving. If you want to pursue a dual degree, you have to be very disciplined or, at the very least, be willing to become self-disciplined. A dual degree means more classes in a shorter amount of time, it can get stressful, you can slack – it takes a special kind of mindset to be able to keep up with everything.

There is no ‘leisure’ time, it virtually does not exist for dual degree pursuers. With the huge workload, you still need to go out there and volunteer, intern, and maybe even try and get some kind of part-time job. Your social life? It will still be there, it’s not impossible to juggle into everything else, but you have to understand that you will not be as free as others, and nor will you have time to hang out with everyone that much anymore. You will not have a typical college experience.

You will not have time to pursue other studies. Again, the workload is huge, and the time you need to dedicate to it in order to keep up and pass, is a lot. Besides that, you will not have space to explore other fields outside of your program. Either classes will conflict, you might be even taking too much classes, or you simply just will not have the time to do them.

Competition. You may be fortunate, and won’t have any – but for the most part, there will also be other people out there seeking to reap the same benefits as you out of dual degree programs. So be prepared to fight for your seat and be able to maintain top notch grades.

Remember: the road is not easy, but it will all be worth it.

Cover Image Credit: Ashley Rose

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I Am A College Student, And I Think Free Tuition Is Unfair To Everyone Who's Already Paid For It

Stop expecting others to pay for you.


I attend Fordham University, a private university in the Bronx.

I commute to school because I can't afford to take out more loans than I already do.

Granted, I've received scholarships because of my grades, but they don't cover my whole tuition. I am nineteen years old and I have already amassed the debt of a 40-year-old. I work part-time and the money I make covers the bills I have to pay. I come from a middle-class family, but my dad can't afford to pay off my college loans.

I'm not complaining because I want my dad to pay my loans off for me; rather I am complaining because while my dad can't pay my loans off (which, believe me, he wants too), he's about to start paying off someone else's.

During the election, Bernie frequently advocated for free college.

Now, if he knew enough about economics he would know it simply isn't feasible. Luckily for him, he is seeing his plan enacted by Cuomo in NY. Cuomo has just announced that in NY, state public college will be free.

Before we go any further, it's important to understand what 'free' means.

Nothing is free; every single government program is paid for by the taxpayers. If you don't make enough to have to pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. If you live off welfare and don't pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. When someone offers someone something free, it's easy to take it, like it, and advocate for it, simply because you are not the one paying for it.

Cuomo's free college plan will cost $163,000,000 in the first year (Did that take your breath away too?). Now, in order to pay for this, NY state will increase their spending on higher education to cover these costs. Putting two and two together, if the state decides to raise their budget, they need money. If they need money they look to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for this program.

I think education is extremely important and useful.

However, my feelings on the importance of education does not mean that I think it should be free. Is college expensive? Yes -- but more so for private universities. Public universities like SUNY Cortland cost around $6,470 per year for in-state residents. That is still significantly less than one of my loans for one semester.

I've been told that maybe I shouldn't have picked a private university, but like I said, I believe education is important. I want to take advantage of the education this country offers, and so I am going to choose the best university I could, which is how I ended up at Fordham. I am not knocking public universities, they are fine institutions, they are just not for me.

My problems with this new legislation lie in the following: Nowhere are there any provisions that force the student receiving aid to have a part-time job.

I work part-time, my sister works part-time, and plenty of my friends work part-time. Working and going to school is stressful, but I do it because I need money. I need money to pay my loans off and buy my textbooks, among other things. The reason I need money is because my parents can't afford to pay off my loans and textbooks as well as both of my sisters'. There is absolutely no reason why every student who will be receiving aid is not forced to have a part-time job, whether it be working in the school library or waitressing.

We are setting up these young adults up for failure, allowing them to think someone else will always be there to foot their bills. It's ridiculous. What bothers me the most, though, is that my dad has to pay for this. Not only my dad, but plenty of senior citizens who don't even have kids, among everyone else.

The cost of living is only going up, yet paychecks rarely do the same. Further taxation is not a solution. The point of free college is to help young adults join the workforce and better our economy; however, people my parents' age are also needed to help better our economy. How are they supposed to do so when they can't spend their money because they are too busy paying taxes?

Free college is not free, the same way free healthcare isn't free.

There is only so much more the taxpayers can take. So to all the students about to get free college: get a part-time job, take personal responsibility, and take out a loan — just like the rest of us do. The world isn't going to coddle you much longer, so start acting like an adult.

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.


I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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