October 22, 2007

Double, double toil and trouble

We’d like to think that at the U of C, credit is given where credit is due. As many fourth-years who are completing job applications and sending in transcripts are all too aware, the University does not follow this principle of fairness when it comes to appropriately crediting students who have earned double majors or minors.

The University refuses to recognize double majors, instead forcing students who double major to choose which major to display on their transcript and diploma. Graduates have no official documentation to back their claim that they have completed the required coursework for a double major or minor.

The College advising website suggests that students simply list their second major on a résumé, but this is not a valid alternative. A résumé doesn’t carry the same weight as a diploma or transcript. A job employer would understandably be suspicious when the two majors listed on a résumé do not match up with the sole major denoted on the official College transcript. The University has emphasized a need to advance students’ career prospects. Giving their double majors official recognition would be an obvious first step.

We recognize that students should use caution in choosing whether or not to double major. Double majoring cuts students out of valuable elective classes, in some ways restricting the curriculum. The College advising system is the best way to guide students through the decision to double major, and neglecting to include this accomplishment on the diploma is an unfair deterrent.

Additionally, the University only announces one major for students at commencement. This is the day when all graduates should be honored for their academic achievements, but the University is ignoring a considerable part of students’ coursework.

Double-majoring is a formidable accomplishment at the U of C, and the University should treat it as such.

Correction appended: This editorial stated that double majors are not listed on students' official transcripts or diplomas. While students must choose one major to list on the diploma, both are listed on the official transcript. The editorial also incorrectly stated that the University only announces one major for students at Commencement. In fact, the program lists both majors.